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Health promotion and public health
Understanding the signs and symptoms of the 2022 monkeypox outbreak is crucial for clinicians, public health practitioners and gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM)
  1. Jamie Frankis
  1. Department of Nursing and Community Health, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jamie Frankis, Nursing and Community Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK; j.frankis{at}

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Commentary on: Patel A, Bilinska J, Tam JCH, et al. Clinical features and novel presentations of human monkeypox in a central London centre during the 2022 outbreak: descriptive case series. BMJ. 2022 Jul 28;378:e072410. doi: 10.1136/bmj-2022-072410.

Implications for practice and research

  • This paper describes new signs and symptoms of the 2022 monkeypox outbreak among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in non-endemic countries, urgently needed by clinicians, public health practitioners and GBMSM. GBMSM need access to smallpox vaccination, alongside public health messaging to enable us to recognise monkeypox, understand preventative behaviours, seek treatment and manage self-isolation. This is essential to prevent outbreaks to wider populations and avoid overwhelming the NHS yet must avoid further stigmatising GBMSM.

  • Accordingly, research is urgently required to understand monkeypox transmission networks among GBMSM, clarify transmission routes for this new outbreak and co-produce effective behavioural prevention strategies.


Over 41 000 monkeypox cases across 96 non-endemic countries have been observed since May 2022, …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.