Page last updated: 22/09/2022
UKHSA has advised that cases of monkeypox have increased recently but the risk to the UK population remains low.
Advice from UKHSA is that this is because the virus does not usually spread easily between people. It can be passed on through close person-to-person contact or contact with items used by a person who has monkeypox such as clothes, bedding or utensils. Monkeypox is usually a mild illness and most people recover within a few weeks.
The UK clinical and public health response to monkeypox was initially based on the High Consequence Infectious Disease management (HCID) system in line with guidance from the UKHSA. This was highly precautionary and designed for complete containment around single cases. It was also designed prior to the confirmed availability of vaccine and treatment. UKHSA has confirmed that community transmission is occurring in the UK with multiple generations of spread. Illness appears to be generally mild, consistent with other information about the West African clade. Therefore, UKHSA and the NHS will be adopting a more proportionate response.
Anyone can get monkeypox. Currently most cases have been in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with men, so it’s particularly important for these people to be aware of the symptoms.
Patients should contact a sexual health clinic if they have a rash with blisters and either:
- have 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
- have been to west or central Africa in the past 3 weeks
Patients who meet these criteria should be assessed and tested in line with UKHSA guidance.
If patients are not able to contact a sexual health clinic they should call 111.
Patients should contact the GUM or sexual health clinic by telephone to make an appointment for an assessment in order to ensure appropriate infection control processes are in place. The GUM or sexual health clinic will discuss the case with the patient and in circumstances where it is not appropriate to be seen at the clinic, such as children or pregnant women, alternative arrangements will be made.
Patients that may have an unexplained rash, but do not meet the above criteria should continue to access NHS services as usual. Further public information is available on nhs.uk.
Living with COVID-19
COVID-19 guidance has been updated and this is what it means:
- It is no longer a legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test, or if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, however the guidance remains to stay at home and avoid contact with other people
- Self-isolation support payments have ended
- The medicine delivery service is no longer be available
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations have been revoked. We will continue to manage local outbreaks of Covid-19 in high risk settings as we do with other infectious diseases.
See the full guidance on the Gov.uk website.
There are simple things you can do in your daily life that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections and protect those at highest risk. Things you can choose to do are:
- Get vaccinated
- Let fresh air in if meeting indoors, or meet outside
- Wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially when coming into contact with people you don’t usually meet and when rates of transmission are high
- Try to stay home if you are unwell
- Wash your hands and follow the advice to “Catch-it, Bin it, Kill it”.
You can find the latest information on COVID-19 by going to www.gov.uk/coronavirus or on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19.
COVID vaccines – click here for more information
Try to stay at home and avoid contact with others if you symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Symptoms of coronavirus include:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Changes to testing for COVID-19
Free testing for COVID-19 from the NHS has ended for most people in England.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you are no longer required to do a rapid lateral flow or PCR test.
If you still want to get tested and you’re not eligible for a free NHS test, you must pay for a COVID-19 test yourself.
You can buy a COVID-19 test from some pharmacies and retailers, in person or online.
For further information about changes to testing, click here.
Humber Long COVID Triage and Assessment Service
The NHS has an online resource www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk to help patients understand what has happened and what they might expect as part of their recovery.
Recovery time from COVID-19 is different for everyone, but for many people symptoms will resolve by 12 weeks. In addition to recovery time, the problems that people can experience can vary too. If new or ongoing symptoms occur they can change unpredictably, affecting patients in different ways at different times.
If you want help or are uncertain, rather than leave things, please contact NHS 111, your hospital team or your local GP surgery to discuss your situation.
Most patients with ongoing symptoms following COVID-19 will come under the care of their GPs, where self-management will be encouraged and supported while other causes of the symptoms are explored, and ruled out first, for up to 12 weeks.
For patients living in the Humber area, which includes Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, a new service is available for patients visiting their GP with ongoing symptoms consistent with post-COVID syndrome, where their condition has not improved after 12 or more weeks.
The Humber Long COVID Triage and Assessment Service will bring a range of health professionals together to ensure patients are referred onto the right clinical pathway to support their ongoing rehabilitation and recovery. Your GP will be able to refer you, if appropriate, to the new service.
- What is long COVID and what are its symptoms?
Long COVID describes a set of symptoms that continue long after the initial COVID-19 infection has gone. Long COVID is not just about people taking time to recover from a stay in intensive care. Even people who had relatively moderate COVID-19 at the time can experience long COVID symptoms.
Doctors are in the early stages of understanding this condition and there are a variety of different symptoms affecting many parts of the body. There is no medical definition or list of symptoms shared by all patients – two people with long COVID can have very different experiences.
Symptoms can include fatigue, breathlessness, a cough that won’t go away, joint pain, muscle aches, hearing and eyesight problems, headaches, loss of smell and taste as well as damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys and gut. Mental health problems have also been reported including depression, anxiety and struggling to think clearly.
Many of the symptoms above could be caused by other conditions, which medical professionals would expect to investigate and rule out first.
- How can I access the new Long COVID Triage and Assessment Service?
Your GP will be able to refer you, if appropriate, to the new service which is for people with suspected Post-COVID-19 syndrome, when symptoms have not resolved after 12 weeks.
The service will have specialist clinical input including respiratory, geriatric, rehabilitation, mental health, therapies and others. The clinical team will review each patient’s needs and will follow up with recommendations on the most appropriate support and rehabilitation to manage ongoing care.
The team will make a decision on an appropriate treatment plan and/or onward referral to other specialist services and will let you and your GP know of the recommendation.
- A guide for managing post-viral fatigue(reproduced by kind permission of Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust
- Royal College of Occupational Therapists – Recovering from COVID-19: Post viral-fatigue and conserving energy provides practical advice for patients.
- Long Covid Support is a peer support and advocacy group for people living with Long COVID
- The British Psychological Society website has useful tips, advice and links to articles for professionals and the public.
- MIND –information and tips to help individuals explore feelings about the pandemic
Your Covid Recovery
Your Covid Recovery is an NHS website designed to help people recover from the long-term effects of coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid-19.
If you have had Covid-19, you may still have some physical symptoms, such as, breathlessness, a cough and a lack of energy. You may also have psychological symptoms, such as feeling scared or anxious, depressed, having trouble sleeping and struggling to remember or concentrate.
These symptoms, both physical and psychological, are common. Your Covid Recovery includes information from experts about how to manage them and look after your health and wellbeing. It also includes information on returning to work, and a helpful section for the family, friends and carers of people who are recovering.
Further coronavirus information:
Our building, Health Place in Brigg, has had all of the safety measures put in place to ensure it is COVID-secure. Please find our ‘COVID-secure’ certificate here.