Monkeypox: What HPSM Providers Need to Know

Monkeypox (MPX) is a rare disease spread through close, personal contact. In May 2022, MPX began to spread across the United States and other countries that do not normally report the virus. This is the first time MPX has spread in so many places at once.

What You Can Do

Even though the risk of MPX to the public is currently low, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has outlined definitions for confirmed, probable, and suspect cases to enhance surveillance for the spread of potential MPX cases in the state.

It is imperative that providers report cases to CDPH immediately when a patient meets criteria for suspected MPX. 

Providers should become familiar with signs and symptoms suggestive for MPX. For more information on Clinical Recognition, see the CDPH’s Clinical Assist Tool for MPX guidance. Additional clinical guidance and resources can be found below. 

About the Vaccine

The vaccine against MPX can be used for post-exposure prophylaxis and for disease prevention, however supply of the MPX vaccine is limited. San Mateo County Health makes doses available for those at highest risk as they receive them (such as for post-exposure prophylaxis for contacts of a known case). San Mateo County Health’s Vaccination Request Form page provides information on vaccine eligibility and how to sign up for the MPX vaccine.

Resources

California Department of Public Health 

Includes information for health care providers on:

  • Case definitions, diagnosis, and reporting instructions
  • Infection control
  • Prevention and management in healthcare settings
  • Treatment

San Mateo County Health

San Mateo County Health’s information on MPX, case data and the Vaccination Request Form Page.

HPSM’s MPX member webpage

Includes information on what members can do:

  • To protect themselves from MPX
  • If they think they have MPX
  • If they DO have MPX

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Includes information for health care providers on:

  • Case definitions
  • Key characteristics for identifying MPX
  • Clinical considerations for MPX vaccination
  • Infection control in health care settings and while a patient is at home
  • Specimen collection