21st September 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) under the Department of Health (DH) has announced that it is currently investigating a confirmed case of Mpox, commonly known as Monkeypox. In light of this development, the CHP is urging the public to remain vigilant and avoid close physical contact with individuals suspected of contracting Mpox. Additionally, high-risk groups are advised to consider receiving the Mpox vaccination.
The case involves a 41-year-old male patient with no significant medical history. He began experiencing a localized rash on September 15 and subsequently visited the Yau Ma Tei Male Social Hygiene Clinic of the DH on September 18. The patient is currently in stable condition, and arrangements have been made for his admission to Princess Margaret Hospital. The patient has reported high-risk exposure to the virus within Hong Kong during the incubation period.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the patient did not travel during the incubation period. Thus far, 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 the case will be reported to the World Health Organization.
Hong Kong has recorded a total of 48 confirmed cases of Mpox to date. The CHP is once again appealing to high-risk groups to consider receiving the Mpox vaccination. By doing so, the risk of infection can be reduced, and the likelihood of experiencing severe symptoms after infection can be minimized. Individuals who display symptoms associated with Mpox, such as rashes, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle pain, and severe headaches, or suspect that they may be infected, are advised to seek immediate medical attention and treatment. During this time, they should refrain from participating in activities where others may come into contact with their skin rash or body fluids. It is crucial for the public to maintain good personal and hand hygiene to prevent the transmission of the virus through contact. Furthermore, close physical contact with individuals or animals suspected of infection should be avoided.
To facilitate enquiries and provide relevant health advice, the CHP has established an Mpox telephone hotline (2125 2373). Operating from Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) between 9 am and 5 pm, the hotline aims to assist 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.
The government activated the Alert level of the preparedness and response plan for Mpox in September of last year. Authorities will continue to assess the risk based on the latest scientific evidence and the prevailing situation. Corresponding control measures will be implemented accordingly to safeguard public health.