Monkeypox cases pass 100 in Ireland

The number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the State has risen by four in the last week
Monkeypox cases pass 100 in Ireland

The number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the State has risen by four in the last week to 101, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

It said public health officials are contacting those who had close contact with confirmed cases while they were infectious. Public health risk assessments have been undertaken and they are being advised on what to do if they become ill, the HPSC added.

Monkeypox has been made a notifiable disease in Ireland, which means medical practitioners and laboratories are required to notify public health officials of infections.

Most monkeypox patients experience fever, body aches, chills and fatigue, but some may develop a rash and lesions on the face and hands that can spread to other parts of the body. Most people recover within a few weeks. The incubation period of monkeypox is usually six to 13 days, but can range from five to 21 days.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) has recommended the smallpox vaccine be used to provide protection against monkeypox. The European Medicines Agency has also recently approved the use of this vaccine for the prevention of monkeypox disease.

The HPSC said supplies of vaccine in Ireland and in the EU are low and limited. The HSE is now working to review the Niac advice, in consultation with stakeholders, and is putting plans in place to identify those most at risk and the best way to use the supply of vaccines.

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