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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 31) 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 52-year-old male patient with good past health. He had developed a localised rash since August 24 and later visited the Wan Chai Male Social Hygiene Clinic of the DH on August 29. He has been admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and he is now in stable condition. The patient claimed that he did not have high-risk exposure during the incubation period.

     The other case involves a 29-year-old male patient with underlying illness. He had presented with headache and localised skin ulcer since August 28 and visited the Fanling Social Hygiene Clinic of the DH yesterday (August 30). He is in stable condition and arrangements were made for him to be admitted to PMH. According to the patient, he had high-risk exposure in Hong Kong during the incubation period.

     ​Initial investigations revealed that both patients had no travel history during the incubation periods. 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 is continuing its epidemiological investigations of the cases, including the high-risk exposure history of the patients during the incubation periods, contact tracing and infection source investigations. The CHP will report the cases to the World Health Organization.

     A total of 41 confirmed Mpox cases have been recorded in Hong Kong so far. The CHP appeals to persons who experience Mpox symptoms or suspect themselves being infected to seek medical attention and receive treatment as soon as possible, and they should not engage in activities with others during which other people may have contact with their skin rash or body fluids. Members of the public should maintain good personal and hand hygiene to prevent virus transmission or infection through contact.

     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 rashes, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle pain, and severe headaches.

     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/Thursday, August 31, 2023
Issued at HKT 19:50
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