Recommendations to Prevent Occupationally-acquired
Monkeypox Infection in Healthcare Personnel
Currently, there are more
than 61,000 reported cases of monkeypox infection worldwide. Reports of
occupationally-acquired monkeypox infection in healthcare personnel
(HCP) remain rare in this outbreak, with most reports involving HCP
sustaining a sharps injury during specimen collection or not using recommended personal protective equipment
Prevention and Control
- Establish a process to screen patients for signs and symptoms of monkeypox at
or before arrival so that they can be identified promptly in
healthcare facilities (e.g., urgent care clinics, emergency
departments, clinics providing evaluation for sexually transmitted
infections) that are most likely to provide initial evaluation of
patients with monkeypox.
- Dedicate adequate resources to support
infection prevention practices, including access to all recommended PPE, particularly in
outpatient settings, where monkeypox patients are frequently
- Review infection prevention and control
practices including carefully putting on and taking off PPE to
ensure HCP are properly trained and provided the opportunity to
ask questions and practice their technique.
Cleaning and Disinfection
- Review cleaning and disinfection practices
to ensure they are being completed effectively. Cleaning and
disinfecting rooms and equipment between patients is important to
prevent transmission to others.
- Use methods to safely collect monkeypox specimens.
Unroofing or aspiration of lesions during specimen collection or
using sharp instruments for monkeypox lesion testing is not
necessary or recommended due to the risk for sharps injury.
- Know the signs and symptoms of monkeypox.
- Do not report to work if any signs or symptoms
develop, even in the absence of recognized exposure.
- Leave work if signs or symptoms develop while
at work, and notify supervisor or other appropriate group (e.g., occupational
health services) for further evaluation.
- Healthcare facilities should provide flexible,
non-punitive sick leave policies to allow HCP to take leave when
The Emergency Risk Communication
Branch in the Division of Emergency Operations, Center for Preparedness
and Response is responsible for the management of all COCA
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