NewsLocalHealth Ministry meeting on Monkeypox

Health Ministry meeting on Monkeypox

The Health Ministry today had a meeting with relevant services to discuss Monkeypox and decided to meet again on Thursday with specific suggestions.

According to ECDC, EU/EEA countries should focus on prompt identification, management, contact tracing and reporting of new MPX cases. Countries should update their contact tracing mechanisms, their diagnostic capacity for orthopoxviruses and review the availability of smallpox vaccines, antivirals and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health professionals.

An interim case definition is proposed for case reporting. Guidance for the management of MPX cases and close contacts is also included. Cases should remain isolated until their rash heals completely, avoiding contact with immunosuppressed persons and pets. Abstaining from sexual activity and close physical contact is also advised until the rash heals. Most cases can remain at home with supportive care.

Close contacts of MPX cases should self-monitor for the development of symptoms up to 21 days from the last exposure to a case.

Healthcare workers should wear appropriate PPE (gloves, water-resistant gown, FFP2 respirator) when screening suspected cases or caring for a MPX case. Laboratory personnel should also take precautions to avoid occupational exposure.

Close contacts of a MPX case should be deferred from blood, organ or bone marrow donations for a minimum of 21 days from the last day of exposure.

Proactive risk communication and multiple community engagement activities should be carried out to increase awareness, provide updates and guidance to those at increased risk and the wider public. Risk communication messages should stress that MPXV is spread through close contact between people, especially in the same household, potentially including the sexual route. A balance should be kept between informing those most at risk but also communicating that the virus does not spread easily between people the risk to the broader population is low.

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