Mpox strategies necessary: CHP

Hong Kong’s key mpox control strategies are in line with those recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and are necessary for safeguarding public health, the Department of Health’s Centre for Health Protection said today.   As of yesterday, a total of 32 mpox cases had been reported to the centre. An upsurge in cases is observed to have started from July, with 24 cases being reported since then.   Currently, confirmed mpox patients are either isolated or cohorted together in public hospitals’ isolation wards until all infectious lesions are treated and the patients become non-infectious. This is to eliminate any chance that confirmed cases may further spread the disease in the community.   In response to suggestions from some quarters that mpox infections pose little in the way of health hazards or transmission risks, and to the inference that the control measures currently in place are disproportionate or unnecessary, the Government said such notions are irresponsible and counterproductive to stopping the spread of mpox in Hong Kong.   It pointed out that the WHO recommends transmission-based precautions for suspected or confirmed mpox cases. These include screening, triage, early recognition, and isolation measures in health facilities. Health authorities in other places have also adopted a containment approach based on the WHO’s recommendations.    As for mpox patients under isolation, the Government stressed that the Hospital Authority provides them with comprehensive and effective treatment, including prescribing antiviral drugs based on their individual clinical needs. Public hospitals will also facilitate psychological assessments and care if necessary.   In general, the authority ensures mpox patients stay in the same room during isolation. The department explained that the sharing of bathroom facilities among patients suffering from the same infectious disease etiology is in accordance with infection control principles.   The Government strongly urged high-risk individuals to receive an mpox vaccination.   It said it will continue to assess the risks and adjust prevention and control measures according to the latest scientific evidence and developments, as well as the latest recommendations from the WHO.

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