More than 40 locally acquired monkeypox cases in Victoria

About two-thirds of Victoria’s monkeypox cases have been acquired locally, as health officials and doctors scramble to determine the source of the spread.

As of September 8, 129 confirmed or probable cases of the virus have been detected in Australia following its first arrival on the country’s shores in May.

Victoria has so far recorded the largest number of infections of any state or jurisdiction with more than half (67) and more than 40 of them locally acquired.

Seventeen state cases are also active, while eight people have been hospitalized with the virus.

According to the latest infectious disease report from the Department of Health, all cases of monkeypox in Victoria have been in men 20 years of age and older.

Much of the global epidemic is made up of men having sex with men, although the Victoria Department of Health said it is important to note that “monkeypox can affect anyone who comes into prolonged contact with a person who has monkeypox “.

Monkeypox looks for the sign poster.
Camera iconMonkeypox looks for the sign poster. Credit: Provided
Provided that Jack Barlow contracted monkeypox while on vacation in the United States.  Image: Channel 10.
Camera iconAustralian Jack Barlow contracted monkeypox while on vacation in the United States. Channel 10. Credit: Provided

Australia declared monkeypox a communicable disease of national importance in late July.

Its characteristic symptoms are a rash or pimple-like lesions on the face, mouth, hands, feet, or genitals.

Other symptoms include fever, body aches, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and chills.

Monkeypox usually only lasts for two to four weeks, but it can cause a range of medical complications in severe cases, with the virus having a mortality rate of between three and six percent.

The virus can be spread by contact with an infected animal (rodents and non-human primates) or humans.

It is transmitted from person to person through close contact with wounds, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials.

Monkeypox typically takes seven to 14 days for symptoms to develop, although this incubation period can range from one day to three weeks.


A diagnosis of monkeypox is confirmed by a polymerase chain reaction test.

Infected people should self-isolate until all lesions have become encrusted, the scabs have fallen off, and a new layer of skin has formed underneath.

Anyone suspected of having monkeypox should get tested and self-isolate pending the result.

The launch of the monkeypox vaccine began in Victoria in early August, after the Australian government secured nearly half a million doses of the Jynneos smallpox vaccine.

Jynneos is Australia’s favorite monkeypox vaccine, but supply is limited, demand is high and it is produced by only one manufacturer.

The vaccine is offered for free statewide, but only specific priority groups are eligible due to its rarity.

These priority groups are:

  • close high-risk contacts of monkeypox cases
  • laboratory workers analyzing monkeypox case samples
  • gay, bisexual, and other sexually active HIV-positive men, trans people, or non-binary people designated as male at birth who have sex with men
  • gay, bisexual and other sexually active HIV-negative men, trans persons or non-binary persons designated male at birth who have sex with men
  • gay, bisexual and other sexually active men, trans persons or non-binary persons designated as male at birth who have sex with men (including cis and trans men) who are homeless or who use drugs or psychiatric illness)
  • sex workers who have sex with the sexually active groups listed above

Victoria is expected to receive more vaccines in October and additional doses in early 2023.

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