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Gov’t gears up for possible monkeypox outbreak

So far, the market has zero monkeypox cases.

The government said it rolled out a response plan in case monkeypox, classified as a statutorily notifiable infectious disease, will cause an outbreak in Hong Kong.

In a statement, the government said the market’s Centre for Health Protection has not yet reported any monkeypox cases amidst the World Health Organization’s (WHO) urge to globally be ready for monkeypox.

To comply with this, under the preparedness and response plan, there is a three-tier response level—alert, serious, and emergency—which will be “activated based on risk assessment and the health impact brought by monkeypox on the community.”

“It also defines the corresponding command structures at each response level and provides the framework of a response system for agreed and coordinated efforts amongst different government departments and organisations so as to reduce the morbidity and mortality of the Hong Kong population due to monkeypox,” read the statement.

To improve Hong Kong’s surveillance and response capacity, the government required medical practitioners to alert the Department of Health if they found suspected monkeypox cases.

Further, the government will also continue to coordinate with WHO and monitor monkeypox infections recorded in other markets as well as review WHO’s policies.

According to WHO, symptoms of monkeypox include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, mouth ulcers, and rash. Those who experience these symptoms must seek medical attention immediately.

To date, Singapore and Thailand both reported monkeypox cases from travellers. But both nations also maintained that there are zero monkeypox infections in their communities.

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