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Advice for patients who have been tested for monkeypox - 10 Hammersmith Broadway

You have been tested for monkeypox virus today.

We think it is likely that you have the infection. This is the advice we give to people who have monkeypox. We recommend that you follow it until your result is available. The test is sent to a specialist lab and the results take at least 72hrs. 

You can stop following this advice if your monkeypox result is negative (clear).

You will receive a text with your monkeypox result. If you are positive, you will be called by the local health protection team who will provide further advice and information regarding vaccination for any contacts. You will receive further follow up from our virtual hub team via a dedicated app who will check on your general welfare while you are isolating. 

Your sexual health test results will be sent separately.

Stay at home

You should isolate at home to reduce the chance of passing the virus to others. Don’t go to work, college or socialise with friends. If you live with other people keep at least 1m apart, try and stay in a separate room or wear a mask.

Some groups of people are more likely to have complications from monkeypox. You should avoid contact with pregnant women, children aged 12 and under and people with severe immunosuppression (e.g. a person living with HIV who is not on treatment and has a CD4 count of less than 200 or someone having cancer treatment with chemotherapy).

Wash your clothes, bedding and towels separately on a hot wash (60 degrees). Clean surfaces that are used by other people with alcohol or chlorine-based wipes/detergents. (e.g. door handles, taps, bath etc). Wash plates and cutlery separately with warm water and washing up liquid. Leave to air dry.

Rubbish bags should be placed in second tied bag before placing in the bin.

Look after yourself

Monkeypox is a relatively mild infection for most people. It usually settles within three weeks without special treatment. Taking regular paracetamol or ibuprofen can help fever/aches/pain.

Sometimes the spots (lesions) can become infected or merge to cause painful ulcers. Call us if the area around the spots becomes red, swollen and/or painful. We’re also here if the ulcers are making it difficult for you to go to the toilet or eat and drink.

You should also seek medical advice if you have over 100 lesions, if any affect your eyes or if you develop a cough or breathing problems. If you need to speak to the 10HB team, please give us a call. 

10 Hammersmith Broadway phone clinic 020 3315 9797 (Mon, Tues, Thurs 9-4, Weds 1-4, Fri 9-12)

Chelsea and Westminster | Sat & Sun 9am-9pm | 07805 813 558

Outside these hours, please call 111 or 999 in an emergency, let the team know about the suspected monkeypox infection. 

Travel

If you have to travel (e.g. hospital appointment) it is best to walk, cycle or use your own car. If you have to use public transport, you should cover any lesions, wear a mask and travel at quieter times.

Pets

Monkeypox is thought to come from rodents (mice, rats etc) originally. As the infection can pass between species, you should avoid close contact with pets. Don’t let them sleep in the bed with you.

Sex

You should avoid all skin to skin contact with other people until the lesions have healed. It is recommended that people use condoms for eight weeks after their last spot has healed.

When can I stop isolating?

You can stop isolating at home when:

  • You have not had a fever for at least 72hrs
  • You have had no new lesions for 48hrs
  • No lesions affect your mouth/eyes
  • All lesions on exposed areas have healed (face/hands etc)
  • Any other lesions have crusted over and can be covered with clothes

Continue to avoid pregnant people/children/immunosuppressed until all lesions healed.

Public health will contact you

Smallpox vaccine provides some protection to people who have already been exposed to monkeypox. Your local public health department will call to see if the vaccine should be offered to any of your recent contacts.

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