Mpox (Monkeypox): What HPSM Providers Need to Know

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

What you can do

Even though the risk of mpox 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 mpox cases in the state.

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

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

About the vaccine

The vaccine against mpox can be used for post-exposure prophylaxis and for disease prevention, however supply of the mpox 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 mpox 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 mpox, case data and the Vaccination Request Form Page.

HPSM’s mpox member webpage

Includes information on what members can do:

  • To protect themselves from mpox
  • If they think they have mpox
  • If they do have mpox

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Includes information for health care providers on:

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