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Updated interim infection control and exposure management guidance in the health-care and community setting for patients with possible monkeypox virus infection
  • Published Date:
    July 18, 2003
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Filetype[PDF-154.09 KB]

  • Description:
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments continue to investigate cases of monkeypox among persons who had close contact with wild or exotic mammalian pets or persons with monkeypox. Results of serologic testing, polymerase-chain-reaction analysis, viral culture and gene sequencing performed at the CDC indicate that the causative agent is monkeypox virus, a member of the orthopoxvirus group of viruses. CDC is updating previous interim guidance concerning infection control precautions and exposure management in the health-care and community settings. The guidance will be further updated as additional information about the epidemiology of disease transmission is better understood. Limited data on transmission of monkeypox virus are available from studies conducted in Africa. Person- to-person transmission is believed to occur primarily through direct contact and also by respiratory droplet spread. Transmission of monkeypox within hospitals has been described, albeit rarely. Extrapolating from smallpox for which airborne transmission has been clearly described, airborne transmission of monkeypox virus cannot be excluded, especially in patients presenting with cough. To date in the United States there has been no evidence of person-to-person transmission of monkeypox. However, recovery of monkeypox virus from skin lesions and tonsillar tissue demonstrates the potential for contact and droplet transmission, and at least a theoretical risk for airborne transmission. The following modification of CDCís infection control guidance is based on the accumulating experience in the United States that suggests a relatively low risk of person-to-person transmission. All health-care settings, i.e., hospitals, emergency departments, physician offices, have the capacity to care for monkeypox patients and protect health-care workers and other patients from exposure.
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