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  • Contact tracing ongoing in Queensland monkeypox cluster

    Author: AAP

Ten linked cases of monkeypox have been recorded in Queensland with contact tracing underway by health authorities.

The cluster is the largest recorded in the state but it is not linked to an outbreak found in Victoria last month.

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A spokesperson for Queensland Health said as of 30 May, authorities have been notified of 10 locally acquired cases of mpox.

"All cases are currently linked and contact tracing is underway by public health units," a spokesperson said.

"Anyone who has been in contact with someone with mpox should contact their local public health unit and monitor for symptoms for 21 days."

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Victoria had recorded 16 confirmed cases of mpox since 18 April, with 13 of the cases locally acquired.

Seventy cases of mpox were recorded in Victoria in 2022, before the yearly total fell to eight in 2023.

High risk groups in Queensland such as sex workers are eligible for free vaccines through sexual health clinics and GPs.

"Two doses of vaccine are needed for optimal protection and vaccination reduces the risk of infection and severe disease," the Queensland Health spokesperson said.

Mpox spreads from person to person through close contact with skin lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets or contaminated objects such as bedding or clothes.

The disease can present as a mild illness with symptoms similar to influenza such as fever, headache or swelling of the lymph nodes.

Between one-to-three days after fever, a rash develops on the face which then can spread to other parts of the body.

Mpox was first reported in Australia May 2022.

The World Health Organisation declared the mpox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on 23 July 2022.

On 28 July 2022, Australia's Chief Medical Officer declared monkeypox to be a communicable disease incident of national significance

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