Learn about monkeypox (mpox)

Monkeypox (mpox) is a rare zoonotic disease that has been currently identified around the world. It is mainly found in the European countries, US, Canada, and Australia. Though the disease is not often to be reported in Hong Kong, it is something that we need to be aware of. 

What is monkeypox (mpox)?
What is monkeypox (mpox)?

Monkeypox (mpox) is a rare zoonotic disease that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.  It was first discovered in 1958.  The first human case documented was in 1970 in Congo.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox (mpox)?
What are the symptoms of monkeypox (mpox)?

Monkeypox (mpox) common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pains
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Rash that forms blisters and crusts over

The time from exposure to showing the symptoms is around 10 days while the symptoms can last from two to four weeks[1].


[1] https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/symptoms.html


What are the differences between monkeypox (mpox) and smallpox?
What are the differences between monkeypox (mpox) and smallpox?

Though monkeypox (mpox) and smallpox bear the name of “pox”, they share more differences compare to similarities in general.  Monkeypox (mpox) is like a milder form caused by the monkeypox virus, which also belongs to the same group of viruses known as the orthopoxvirus.

Symptoms are like smallpox such as fever, headache, rash, and flu-like symptoms.

The differences between monkeypox and smallpox are listed below:


Monkeypox (mpox)


Enlargement of lymph node



Symptoms severity



Transmitted from human

Close contact (e.g. prolonged face-to-face interaction)


Sexual transmission






Possible (currently speculated)






Transmitted from animal



Incubation period

The incubation period is usually from 6 to 13 days, with a range from 5 to 21 days.

The incubation period is usually from 10 to 14, with a range from 7 to 19 days.

How contagious it is?
How contagious it is?

It is currently known that monkeypox (mpox) may be spread from handling bushmeat, from an animal bite or scratch, body fluids, objects that are contaminated, or close contact with a person.

How to treat monkeypox (mpox)?
How to treat monkeypox (mpox)?

There is currently no registered specific vaccine or antiviral treatment for monkeypox (mpox) available in Hong Kong. It has been shown that the smallpox vaccine may also be effective in preventing monkeypox, and a new vaccine called "Jynneos" has been licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the protection of monkeypox in 2019. A new antiviral drug was approved for the treatment of monkeypox in Europe recently.

How to prevent monkeypox (mpox)?
How to prevent monkeypox (mpox)?

To reduce the risk of infection, members of the public travelling to places affected by the monkeypox virus should:

  • Avoid close physical contact with sick persons or animals
  • Wear protective clothing and equipment including gloves and surgical masks when taking care of ill people or handling animals, and carry out regular hand washing after these procedures
  • Thoroughly cook all animal products before eating; and
  • Seek medical advice promptly for any suspicious symptoms.

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For any enquiry, please call +852 3420 6622, Whatsapp +852 5228 0810, or info@marinamedical.hk

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