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Employees who are forced to self-isolate due to monkeypox advised to apply for Illness Benefit

Financial supports may available to those who contract the virus.

THE DEPARTMENT OF Employment Affairs and Social Protection says that those who need to self-isolate after contracting monkeypox may be entitled to Illness Benefit.

Concerns have been raised about the financial supports available to individuals who are self-employed or on hourly contracts should they catch the virus.

HSE advice says that those who contract monkeypox should self-isolate at home until their rash “has completely healed”, which could take up to three weeks.

The advice also says people should only leave their home for essential purposes like emergencies, urgent medical appointments, or for urgent health and well-being issues.

A spokesperson for the department said that anyone whose employment is affected by the virus can apply for Illness Benefit, a weekly payment which is available to anyone who cannot work due to being sick. 

“Illness Benefit is the main social welfare payment available to those who are medically certified as unfit for work, including in cases of Monkeypox,” a statement said.

Latest figures show that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has been notified of 101 confirmed cases of monkeypox to date.

Among the cases notified, all cases are male and have a median age of 36 years (ranging from 19 to 65 years old).

Ten cases have been hospitalised; four cases were admitted for clinical care related to Monkeypox infection, two admitted for isolation purposes only, and information on the reason for admission for the other four is still awaited.

More than 30,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Europe, North America and other countries worldwide where the virus is not endemic.

Want to know more about how the world is dealing with monkeypox? On this week’s episode of The Explainer, Michelle Hennessy talks to Dr Cillian de Gascun, Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, about the global response to the outbreak.

The Explainer / SoundCloud

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