Mpox in Ireland: latest update
A small number of confirmed and probable mpox cases in gay bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) have been notified in August and September. These are the first cases reported in Ireland since April. Some cases were unvaccinated.
Internationally, by August 2023, 90,000 confirmed cases and 152 deaths worldwide have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) since this outbreak was first identified in May 2022. Case numbers peaked in July-August 2022, followed by a steady decline until March 2023. Approximately 100 new confirmed cases per week have been reported globally since then; numbers of cases are rising again slightly in recent weeks, mainly in China and Western Pacific countries; small clusters of cases are being seen in some European countries.
The virus continues to circulate globally and, as long as global circulation persists, the potential for new outbreaks among people who have multiple sex partners, including sex workers, remains. Vaccination of those at risk for mpox is recommended, even when case numbers remain relatively low in Ireland.
In Ireland more than 5,300 people at risk of infection have been fully vaccinated with more than 11,000 doses administered. Vaccination reduces the risk of infection, and if infection occurs in a vaccinated person, it is likely to be less severe.
Gay and bisexual men who have sex with men and trans people, who have multiple sexual partners and have not yet been vaccinated, are encouraged to visit the HSE website at https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/mpox/vaccine/ and arrange an appointment for vaccination, which is currently available free in some STI clinics in Dublin and Galway.
Information on the symptoms of mpox are available at https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/mpox/
HSE continues to work with our gbMSM partners MPOWER and Gay Health Network to ensure that up to date information on mpox, signs and symptoms, prevention and vaccination is readily available and shared using multiple channels within the gbMSM community.
Cases numbers in Ireland and internationally will continue to be monitored closely and measures implemented as appropriate.
For more information or support please visit:
Latest WHO situation report at https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/multi-country-outbreak-of-mpox--external-situation-report-27---14-august-2023
WHO recommendations at https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/standing-recommendations-for-mpox-issued-by-the-director-general-of-the-world-health-organization-(who)-in-accordance-with-the-international-health-regulations-(2005)-(ihr)