THERE are no confirmed cases of monkeypox in Jersey, the director of public health has said after the UK Health Security Agency identified nine cases in England.
Following UK media coverage about the virus, which spreads through close contact between individuals, Professor Peter Bradley has sought to reassure Islanders.
The UK government has said that the recent cases identified in England had ‘no travel links’ to a country where monkeypox was endemic, which means it is possible that the infection had spread through community transmission.
Professor Bradley said: ‘I’d like to reassure Islanders that we do not have any confirmed cases of monkeypox in Jersey.
‘Monkeypox is a viral infection which does not spread easily between people. The virus is usually a mild self-limiting illness, spread by very close contact with someone with monkeypox or contact with clothing or linens used by a person who has monkeypox. Most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.’
Initial symptoms of the virus can include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, before spreading to other parts of the body, including the genitals.
Professor Bradley said: ‘Monkeypox has not been described as a sexually transmitted infection, although it can be passed on by direct contact during sex. While we do not have any cases in Jersey, it’s prudent to remind Islanders to be alert to any unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia.
‘Any Islander who is concerned about newly developed unusual rashes or lesions should contact their GP or the GUM [sexual health] clinic.’