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CHP investigates two confirmed Mpox cases
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) said today (August 18) that it is investigating two confirmed Mpox (also known as Monkeypox) cases, 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 first case involves a 44-year-old male patient with good past health. He had developed vesicles, oral ulcer and headache since August 13. He visited a private doctor on August 16 and visited the Yau Ma Tei Male Social Hygiene Clinic of the DH yesterday (August 17). 

     The other case involves a 31-year-old male patient with underlying illness. He had presented with localised skin ulcer and lymphadenopathy since August 14. He visited the Yau Ma Tei Male Social Hygiene Clinic of the DH on August 16.

     They were arranged to be admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital and are now in stable conditions. An initial investigation revealed that they had high-risk exposures in Hong Kong during the incubation period.

     The CHP has not yet identified epidemiological linkages between these two patients. No epidemiological linkages between these two cases and other confirmed cases recorded in Hong Kong earlier have been found so far either. The CHP's epidemiological investigations of the cases are ongoing, including contact tracing and infection source investigations. The CHP will report the cases to the World Health Organization.

     The CHP had earlier set up an Mpox telephone hotline (2125 2373). The hotline operates from Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) from 9am to 5pm, which enables those who suspect or are concerned they have had high-risk contact with confirmed patients, in particular men who have sex with men or those who have sexual practices with strangers, to make enquiries and receive relevant health advice. Meanwhile, the CHP reminds 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 reminds 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 and 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, or 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.

     High-risk target groups can receive Mpox vaccination at the designated Mpox vaccination centre (situated at 2/F, CHP building, 147C Argyle Street, Mong Kok) by appointment through email (mpv_booking@dh.gov.hk) or telephone booking line (2547 1900) during office hours. They can also receive Mpox walk-in vaccinations at all of the DH's Social Hygiene Service Clinics (SocHS) (namely Chai Wan SocHS, Wan Chai Male SocHS, Wan Chai Female SocHS, Yau Ma Tei Male SocHS, Yau Ma Tei Female 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 services for their clients.

     ​For more details, please visit the CHP's page on Mpox.
Ends/Friday, August 18, 2023
Issued at HKT 20:45
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