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RCP response to rising number of monkeypox cases

As a leading health organisation aimed at improving patient care and preventing disease worldwide, the RCP is committed to supporting the response to monkeypox. 

Monkeypox has been listed a notifiable disease in law since 8 June 2022. The latest guidance on monkeypox from UKHSA is available online.

On 7 May 2022, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed that an individual had been diagnosed with monkeypox in England. On 14 May, UKHSA confirmed that two further individuals had been diagnosed with monkeypox in London. These cases were not related to the case identified on 7 May 2022. Further cases were identified throughout May. UKHSA is publishing the latest cases of monkeypox confirmed in England.

The infection can be passed on through close contact or contact with clothing or linens used by a person who has monkeypox. A notable proportion of the cases identified to date have been among people who are gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men.

NHS England guidance

On 23 June, NHS England issued a letter about the updated guidance and delivery of vaccination for monkeypox. Locally appropriate services operating on a hub and spoke network will be established by regional NHSE teams to offer proactive, pre-exposure vaccination to those at greatest risk.

On 1 June, NHS England wrote to systems with guidance on infection prevention and control (IPC) and treatment of confirmed cases. It also covers staff contact, isolation and vaccines.

It has also published a risk stratified clinical approach for laboratory confirmed monkeypox infections. This is in line with the UKHSA principles paper for monkeypox control in the UK.

What is the RCP doing about it?

The RCP hosted a webinar with UKHSA for clinicians about monkeypox on 30 May 2022. This is available for RCP members and clinicians to watch on RCP Player. 

We will continue to review the situation and provide support and guidance to members as necessary. If you have any questions, please email policy@rcp.ac.uk.