Mpox (formerly known as Monkey Pox)- Managing the risks

Published: 22 Aug 2022

Mpox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with the Mpox Virus. Mpox was first discovered in 1958 when outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research. The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and since then the infection has been reported in several central and western African countries.

Since May 2022, cases of mpox have been reported in multiple countries that do not usually have mpox virus in animal or human populations, including the UK.


The spread of mpox occurs when a human comes into close contact with an infected animal, human or material infected with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, or the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Person-to-person spread may occur through direct contact with mpox scabs, being in range of coughing or sneezing of an individual with a mpox rash or coming into contact with infected clothing or linen.

Prevention and control

Those with suspected and confirmed mpox Virus should themselves isolate in a single person room, whether that be guests staying at your establishment or staff members who are suspected or confirmed to have the virus. All doors to rooms containing the person in question should be closed and a separate bathroom provided. A medical grade mask should be worn by the person in question should potential contact with others be made. Consideration should also be given to those who have been in close contact with an infected or suspected individual.

Staff members with a suspected case of the virus should be directed to seek and follow medical advice and only return to work when cleared to do so. This is risk assessed, based on if the person is likely to come into skin-to-skin contact with the immunosuppressed, pregnant or children under 5 years of age.

The UKHSA advise people to isolate until:

•             No high temperature for at least 72 hours.

•             No new lesions in the last 48 hours.

•             No lesions in the mouth.

•             Lesions have scabbed over.

•             Lesions on the face, arms and hands have scabbed over; all the scabs have fallen off; and fresh skin has formed underneath.

You should ensure you have some documented control measures as part of your health and safety management within your business

Cleaning and Hygiene

Ordinary good practice relating to hygiene and cleaning should be respected, however other factors to consider are as follows:

  • Full PPE should be worn by those who enter the space in which a suspected or confirmed infected person has been, this includes eye protection, gown, gloves, and medical grade face masks.
  • Those with mpox or those suspected should wear a medical grade face mask if close contact with others cannot be avoided.
  • Where possible, those confirmed or suspected should deal with their own laundry, placing all items in a tightly wrapped, double bagged container. These items should be laundered separately to other items.
  • Meals should be left outside of the room as should crockery.
  • Handling of any potentially infected materials should be immediately followed by handwashing.
  • Do not dry dust or sweep as this may spread infectious particles. Wet cleaning methods are preferred.
  • Use a vacuum with a high efficiency filter if possible. Change out and clean filter after use.

Should any further information regarding the mpox Virus or outbreak control be required then please contact CSC