Monkeypox: Republic of Ireland sets up expert team

A monkeypox incident management team has been set up in the Republic of Ireland to prepare the country for possible cases.

The chair of the team, Dr Derval Igoe, has said there is a possibility that monkeypox cases could be seen in Ireland, although there are no reported cases so for.

The UK has so far confirmed 20 cases but none of them are in
Northern Ireland.

Monkeypox is a viral infection that can cause mild flu like symptoms including fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, aching muscles and a rash.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme, Dr Igoe said expert groups were working on ways to monitor the disease and surveillance was taking place all over the world.

She added that “there have been no deaths and there have only been two hospitalisations worldwide due to an illness”.

Dr Igoe is the interim director of the Republic of Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

“We do have a lot of a lot of different professional groups working on this,” she said.

“We have our sexual health and infectious disease experts in the hospitals, also our national isolation unit, the virus reference lab, national immunisation office and the Department of Health.”

How do you catch monkeypox?

Dr Igoe’s team is also working with the Gay Health Network to make sure messages are delivered in a “suitable way” to populations which cases of the virus are being seen in.

She advised anyone with symptoms to isolate and for anyone with concerns to contact their GP or sexual health clinic.

On Monday, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said people should isolate for 21 days if they have been in direct or household contact with a confirmed case.

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