MPX cases have been steadily reducing over the past few weeks. As of 28 September, there have been 67 cases in Victoria and only 2 of them are still active. The reduction in the spread of MPX within the community speaks to the efforts everyone has put into getting vaccinated and/or following preventative measures.
More vaccines are now available in Victoria, and we strongly encourage anybody who is eligible to contact their local MPX vaccine hub to organise their vaccine. See below for more information on your closest vaccine hub.
How can we prevent the transmission of MPX?
If you have not been vaccinated, it is recommended to regularly wash and/or sanitise your hands and wear a mask when in close contact with large amounts of people.
For those who have open sexual partners and/or attend venues/events where intimate contact occurs, it is worth considering using condoms. While condoms will not protect against the transmission of MPX, it does prevent the virus from entering the anal cavity. Having MPX here can be incredibly painful and lead to tissue scarring.
Signs and symptoms of MPX
The main symptom is a rash that varies from blisters or pimples to ulcers. It is often found on the genital or anal areas, but it can be on other parts of the body such as face, hands, and feet and inside the mouth. Sometimes there are no other symptoms, and, in some cases, there is no rash.
Other MPX symptoms can include fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, backache, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion. In some cases, people may have pain urinating, or rectal pain, blood in their poo, and diarrhoea.
For most people MPX is mild but it can be severe for some people.
MPX is transmitted via:
- Direct skin-to-skin contact with an infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids (including semen)
- Exposure to respiratory excretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
- Touching objects or fabrics (clothing, towels, or linen) that have had contact with infected areas of someone with active infection.
What do I do if I think I have been exposed?
If you think you have been exposed to MPX or have MPX symptoms, phone your doctor or sexual health service. Phone ahead to make an appointment. This will allow others to provide you the best care and reduce the risk of MPX transmission.
There are new contact definitions:
High risk: Household contacts; or direct contact with sores from someone with MPX; or direct contact with contaminated materials.
Medium risk: Direct contact with intact skin or contaminated materials while not wearing personal protective equipment.
Low risk: Indirect contact with a person with MPX in a social setting.
People who are confirmed to have MPX no longer need to isolate but are advised to stay away from other people and animals until all sores have healed and new skin has grown back. Those who are caring for people with MPX should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and face masks and should also avoid contact with bodily fluids from those with MPX.
Victorian vaccination roll-out for MPX
The MPX vaccine is now being injected just under the skin on the forearm. This normally results in a small sore at the site of injection that may last for up to 6 weeks. There are more MPX vaccines now available, and the vaccine hubs are actively taking new appointments. Please contact the following vaccine hubs if you are eligible and wanting to get vaccinated against MPX:
Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
Thorne Harbour Health
Collins Street Medical Centre
Prahran Market Clinic
For individuals who fulfil the criteria for vaccination and reside in regional Victoria, please email your closest Local Public Health Unit:
Barwon South West
For more information please refer to the MPX page on the Victorian Department of Health website.