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CHP investigates confirmed Mpox case linked with previous confirmed case
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) said today (May 1) that it is investigating a confirmed Mpox (also known as Monkeypox) case epidemiologically linked with a previous case, and urged the public to heighten vigilance and avoid close physical contact with persons suspected of contracting Mpox. Meanwhile, high-risk target groups are advised to receive Mpox vaccination.

     The case involves a 34-year-old male patient with good past health. He is a close contact of a confirmed patient announced on April 29. The CHP arranged him to be admitted to Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital for quarantine on April 30. He had developed body rash on the same day. According to the patient, he has travelled to Taiwan from April 9 to 15. The CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch confirmed that his samples tested positive for the virus today. He has not received Mpox vaccination and is now in stable condition.

     The CHP is arranging two household members of the patient to undergo quarantine and receive post-exposure vaccination. They remained asymptomatic so far. The CHP's epidemiological investigations of the case are ongoing.

     The CHP will report the case to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, the CHP urges the public, especially those subject to high risks of exposure, to take precautions and avoid close physical contact with persons or animals suspected of infection. They should seek medical attention as soon as possible if they experience relevant symptoms, including rash, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle pain, and severe headaches.

     The CHP reminded members of the public that Mpox is not transmitted through respiratory droplets or aerosols in general and transmission would not occur through social contact. Proper personal and hand hygiene can help prevent getting infected via contact.

     The Government has activated the Alert level of the preparedness and response plan for the disease in September last year, reflecting a low immediate health impact on the local population. The Government will continue to assess the risk in view of the latest scientific evidence and situation, and implement corresponding control measures.

     The Mpox vaccination programme for high-risk groups commenced on October 5 last year. Under the programme, the following high-risk target groups can receive Mpox vaccination on a voluntary basis:
  1. Individuals with high risk sexual practices, e.g. having multiple sexual partners, sex workers, having a history of sexually transmitted infection within the past 12 months;
  2. Healthcare workers responsible for caring of patients with confirmed Mpox;
  3. Laboratory personnel working with zoonotic pox viruses; and
  4. Animal care personnel with high risk of exposure in case of Mpox occurrence in animals in Hong Kong.

     Currently, high-risk target groups can receive Mpox walk-in vaccination at any one of the DH's six Social Hygiene Service Clinics (SocHS) (namely Wan Chai Male SocHS, Wan Chai Female SocHS, Yau Ma Tei Male SocHS, Yung Fung Shee SocHS, Fanling SocHS and Tuen Mun SocHS). Further information of the clinics including their locations is available at www.dh.gov.hk/english/tele/tele_chc/tele_chc_shcf.html and www.dh.gov.hk/english/tele/tele_chc/tele_chc_shcm.html.

     Meanwhile, the DH's Integrated Treatment Centre in Kowloon Bay, and the Hospital Authority's Special Medical Clinics at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital will continue to provide Mpox vaccination service for their clients.

     For more details, please visit the CHP's page on Mpox.
Ends/Monday, May 1, 2023
Issued at HKT 19:30
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