Hong Kong activates response plan after reporting first monkeypox case

An outline of a man in front of a pink background with monkeypox cells

Hong Kong has activated a response plan to prevent the spread of monkeypox after reporting its first case believed to have been brought in by a 30-year-old-man.  

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) has confirmed today (6 September) it is investigating an imported case of monkeypox.

The government has now activated an ‘alert’ level of the preparedness and response plan for monkeypox, reflecting a low immediate health impact on the population. 

It is understood the traveller, who reported symptoms while in hotel quarantine after flying into the city, had recently visited a number of other countries including Canada and the US. 

He had reportedly travelled alone to Hong Kong from the Philippines on 5 September and went to quarantine at Ramada Hong Kong Harbour View. 

The CHP said the man developed symptoms including a severe sore throat and difficulty swallowing in the late evening of the same day, then went on to get a skin rash and swelling of his lymph nodes.

He has been sent to Queen Mary Hospital in a stable condition, where he is in an airborne infection isolation room, and has not yet entered the local community. 

The man said he didn’t contact any confirmed monkeypox patients during his travel, but as a measure passengers of flight PR300 are advised to look out for symptoms. 

Hong Kong’s alert response level will implement a series of follow-up actions, including enhancing control and prevention measures in the community by putting potentially exposed people under medical surveillance or in quarantine. 

The monkeypox case has been reported by the CHP to the World Health Organization and the relevant authority of the mainland of China, and the news will also be shared with doctors and private hospitals. 

The response plan was launched on 10 June and it includes three levels: alert, serious and emergency.

Hong Kong’s first shipment of the monkeypox vaccine is expected to arrive this month, and to prevent transmission of the virus the government has reserved quarantine facilities for confirmed cases.

Last month, PinkNews reported Texas had confirmed the first death of a person diagnosed with monkeypox. 

In light of the worry among LGBTQ+ people about monkeypox PinkNews asked readers to submit the questions they wanted answers to, and infectious disease epidemiologist with the UK Health Security Agency, Mateo Prochazka, answered them.