July 25, 2022
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Sunday said it will take appropriate preventive measures against monkeypox after the World Health Organization declared that it was an international public health emergency.
Since the beginning of the year until July 20, the WHO has detected more than 14,500 suspected and confirmed cases in 72 countries or regions, a clear rise from about 3,040 cases reported at the beginning of May this year
In a statement issued on Sunday afternoon, the HKSAR government said it will closely monitor the situation while noting that Hong Kong has not recorded any suspected or confirmed monkeypox infection.
“We urge the public to take precautions and avoid close physical contact with persons or animals suspected of contracting monkeypox. They should seek medical attention as soon as possible if they experience symptoms of monkeypox, including fever, severe headache, muscle pain, swollen lymph node, mouth lesion and rash,” a government spokesman was quoted as saying in the statement.
“Following the latest advice from the WHO, persons suspected to have contracted monkeypox should avoid undertaking any travel,” the spokesman added.
Since the beginning of the year until July 20, the WHO has detected more than 14,500 suspected and confirmed cases in 72 countries or regions, a clear rise from about 3,040 cases reported at the beginning of May this year. Most of these cases involved men who have sex with men.
The government said it has amended the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance and the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation to include monkeypox as a statutorily notifiable disease. It has also published the Preparedness and Response Plan for Monkeypox in early June and stepped up publicity and public education on monkeypox.
“The Government will consider the recommendations of the WHO and step up disease monitoring, prevention and health promotion efforts,” the spokesman said.
“We are also actively liaising with the respective manufacturer of smallpox vaccine approved by overseas drug regulatory authority for use in the prevention of monkeypox, enquiring on and discussing the details of supplying the vaccines to Hong Kong as soon as possible,” he added.
To reduce the risk of infection, members of the public who need to travel to places affected by monkeypox should avoid physical contact with sick persons or animals; thoroughly cook all animal products before eating; and seek medical advice promptly in case of any suspicious symptoms, according to the statement.