Action plan for any Monkeypox outbreak

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Drawing up a management and action plan by the Ministry of Health to deal with the possible detection of monkeypox cases in Cyprus is in its final stage.

The Vaccination Committee is meeting on Friday to discuss the need for vaccination for certain population categories to tackle the disease.

The competent services had a teleconference on Thursday. They discussed the procedures and protocols to be followed for possible monkeypox cases, how to admit and transfer patients to hospitals, and their treatment and management.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recommends that countries focus on early detection, management, contact tracing and reporting of new cases of monkeypox.

Countries should also update their contact detection mechanisms and diagnostic capacity for orthopoxviruses and review the availability of smallpox vaccines, antivirals, and personal protective equipment for health professionals.

Infected persons should remain isolated until the crusts fall and avoid close contact with immunosuppressed persons and pets.

Abstinence from sexual activity and close physical contact is recommended until the rash has healed. Most cases can remain at home with supportive care.

Close contacts of monkeypox cases should be monitored on their own for the development of symptoms for 21 days after the last exposure.

ECDC will monitor developments closely and update the risk assessment as new data and information become available.

Monkeypox virus can cause severe disease in young children, pregnant women, and immunosuppressed individuals.

Further research is needed to estimate the level of morbidity and mortality accurately.

It has yet to be detected in Cyprus.