Portcullis Surgery

Portcullis Lane, Ludlow, SY8 1GT

Telephone: 01584 872 939


We are closed. Call 111 for urgent advice out of hours.

Information about Monkey Pox

The World Health Organization (WHO) has determined monkeypox constitutes a global health emergency, calling it a “public health emergency of international concern” due to a multi-country outbreak.

A public health emergency of international concern – or PHEIC – is defined by the WHO’s international health regulations as “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response”.

Monkeypox symptoms “generally last two to four weeks and go away without treatment,” according to Healthline. There are potentially more dangerous complications in rare situations, leading to fatalities in 3% to 6% of cases in past outbreaks, according to the WHO.

However, WHO data also says the recent outbreak has only resulted in five deaths worldwide.

How serious is the outbreak?

Globally, there have so far been 16,016 monkeypox cases – 4,132 of which were in the past week, according to WHO data. It is now in 75 countries and territories and there have been five deaths.

The European region has the highest number of total cases, at 11,865, and the highest increase in the last seven days, with 2,705.


How can I avoid monkeypox?

Monkeypox spreads through direct contact and exchange of fluids between humans, or humans and animals. Respiratory droplets can spread the disease, but this is “very rare,” according to Dr. Deutsch.

Anyone can get monkey pox. Most cases so far have been in gay men or people with multiple sexual partners however this could change and cases are going up in the community in general.

To help lower your chances of catching monkeypox, the CDC strongly recommends these important steps:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people with a rash that looks like monkeypox.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels or clothing of a person with monkeypox.

General health recommendations apply as well: wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer when in a public setting. To be safe, avoid close contact with others and reduce skin-to-skin contact.

How do I know if I might have monkeypox?

Usually the incubation period of Monkeypox is from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days. During this period there are NO symptoms

Following the incubation period (with no symptoms) there are 2 phases:

a) The invasion period: 


-intense headache,

-lymphadenopathy – swelling of the lymph nodes, this is a distinctive feature of Monkeypox compared to other diseases

-back pain,

-myalgia – muscle aches, and

-intense lack of energy.

b) Skin Eruption:

It begins within 1–3 days of appearance of fever.

Its rashes tend to be more concentrated on the face and extremities rather than on the trunk.

It affects the face, and palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Oral mucous membranes, genitalia, conjunctivae, and cornea are affected.

The rash evolves sequentially from macules to papules, vesicles, pustules and crusts which dry up and fall off.


Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks.


It includes secondary infections, bronchopneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis, and infection of the cornea with ensuing loss of vision.

What do I do if I suspect i have monkeypox?

All cases currently managed by sexual health clinics and not GPs:

You should call a sexual health clinic for an appointment if you have a rash with blisters and have either:

  • been in close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has or might have monkeypox (even if they’ve not been tested yet) in the past 3 weeks
  • been to west or central Africa in the past 3 weeks

Stay at home and avoid close contact with other people, including sharing towels or bedding, until you’ve been told what to do.

Call the sexual health clinic before visiting. Tell the person you speak to if you’ve had close contact with someone who has or might have monkeypox, or if you’ve recently travelled to central or west Africa.

The closest sexual health clinics to Ludlow are as follows:

Sexual Health Services 4 HerefordshireAddress 15 St Owens Street Hereford Herefordshire HR1 2JB


01432 483693 or 0800 7720478

Worcetershire Integrated Sexual Health WISH

Address Kidderminster Health Centre Bromsgrove Street Kidderminster Worcestershire DY10 1PG

Phone 01562 514512

Open Clinic – Severn Fields Health Village

Address Sundorne Road Shrewsbury Shropshire SY1 4RQ

For other clinics follow the link


Call or email us for advice

If you are worried please email or call the practice for advice ideally with an uploaded photo. Tell the practice if you’ve had close contact with someone who has or might have monkeypox, or if you’ve recently travelled to central or west Africa.


Is there a vaccine for monkey pox?

The good news is there is already a vaccine for monkey pox. In fact most people over the age of 55 years of age have already had this vaccine as it is the same vaccine that was given in the past for small pox.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says that a vaccine designed to protect against smallpox, called Imvanex, will help protect people who could be exposed to monkeypox.

The vaccine is effective against monkeypox because it is from the same family of viruses. Its use has been signed off by the UK’s vaccine experts, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The vaccine is already being offered to most healthcare workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed monkeypox before being exposed, and to close contacts of confirmed cases within four days of exposure.

More staff caring for monkeypox patients and workers in laboratories where the virus is being handled are also now being offered the vaccine.

In London, there are more than 18 clinics offering vaccinations. Some gay and bisexual men at higher risk of catching monkeypox are being offered and invited the vaccine in London. There may be further roll out of the vaccine.

Opening Times

  • Monday
    08:30am to 06:00pm
    6-8pm Pre-booked appointments only.Call 111 for advice OOH
  • Tuesday
    08:30am to 06:00pm
    6-8pm Pre-booked appointments only.Call 111 for advice OOH
  • Wednesday
    08:30am to 06:00pm
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  • Thursday
    08:30am to 06:00pm
    Call 111 for advice OOH
  • Friday
    08:30am to 06:00pm
    Open 1-2 Fridays a month. 6-8pm Pre-booked appointments only.Call 111 for advice OOH
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
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