31-year-old man with no travel history contracts Monkeypox in Hong Kong

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21st May 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) under the Department of Health (DH) has announced an ongoing investigation into a confirmed case of Monkeypox, also known as Mpox. In light of this development, the CHP has urged the public to remain vigilant and avoid close physical contact with individuals suspected of being infected with Monkeypox. Additionally, high-risk groups are advised to consider receiving the Monkeypox vaccination.

The case involves a 31-year-old male patient who has underlying health conditions. On 14th May, he developed a skin rash and subsequently sought medical assistance at the Yau Ma Tei Male Social Hygiene Clinic of the DH on 17th May. Fortunately, his condition is currently stable, and arrangements have been made for him to be admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that the patient had high-risk exposure in Hong Kong during the incubation period and had no recent travel history. To date, no epidemiological links have been identified between this case and previously confirmed cases in Hong Kong. The CHP is actively conducting further epidemiological investigations and will report the case to the World Health Organisation.

The CHP reiterates its appeal to high-risk groups to consider receiving the Monkeypox vaccination. This measure aims to reduce the risk of infection and minimise the likelihood of experiencing severe symptoms following infection. Individuals who exhibit symptoms of Monkeypox, such as rashes, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle pain, and severe headaches, or suspect they may be infected, are advised to seek immediate medical attention and treatment. Furthermore, they should avoid activities that involve close contact with others, which could lead to contact with their skin rash or body fluids. Maintaining good personal and hand hygiene is essential to prevent virus transmission and infection through contact. Close physical contact with individuals or animals suspected of being infected should be avoided.

To assist the public, the CHP has set up a Monkeypox telephone hotline (2125 2373). The hotline operates from Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays, between 9am and 5pm. It serves as a resource for individuals who suspect or are concerned about having had high-risk contact with confirmed patients, particularly men who have sex with men or those who engage in sexual practices with strangers. Enquiries can be made, and relevant health advice will be provided through the hotline.