Summer Planning Toolkit modules

Module 5: Acute illness, including viruses

Monkeypox

Monkeypox

On 28 July 2022, Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly declared Monkeypox (MPX) a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance.

MPX is spread through close contact of bodily fluids. Symptoms include rash and sores, swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, chills and exhaustion. 

The incubation period can be anywhere from 5-21 days. Patients may be infectious for several weeks, as they must wait until all sores have healed before they are no longer infectious 39.


Preventing the spread

Patients who have tested positive to MPX are advised to take preventative measures , including:

  • isolation until sores are cleared
  • avoiding contact with other household members
  • taking strong infection control measures
  • wearing a face mask when in contact with others39

There are two vaccines available in Australia that can provide protection against MPX. The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care has information on vaccination, availability and access, when to get the vaccine and vaccine safety.


Resources

The RACGP continues to update news and information related to monkeypox through the Monkeypox information and resources webpage. This webpage includes information on clinical guidance, vaccination, patient referral information and links to local state and territory information.

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care provides updates on monkeypox on their website. They have also developed a fact sheet with guidance on prevention, at risk populations, symptoms and diagnosis.

In addition, the National Clinical Evidence Taskforce has published evidence-based guidelines for health professionals that cover symptoms and treatments.

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