The American College of Physicians (ACP) has published a new commentary warning primary care doctors and staff about the threat of monkeypox.
On the heels of COVID-19, “as the monkeypox outbreak grows, health care workers must understand the threat and be prepared to address an infectious disease risk that may herald yet another unprecedented epidemic,” authors Tara N. Palmore, MD, and David K. Henderson, MD, said. Their commentary, “Adding New Fuel to the Fire: Monkeypox in the Time of COVID-19 – Implications for Health Care Personnel,” was published June 14 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, and ACP also published a news release about the guidance
Monkeypox outbreaks have been smoldering for years in western and central Africa, with occasional instances in the United States and Europe. Those usually happened through travel to endemic areas or exposure to imported animals, the authors said. More recently, the current outbreak has affected primarily young men who have sex with men (MSM).
They offered the following guidance for dealing with possible infections:
The authors also caution the infection control response must avoid stigmatizing the most affected patient population and should instead ally itself with the community of gay, bisexual, and other (MSM) to combat monkeypox, the news release said.
On June 14, the World Health Organization also published its updated guidance on monkeypox. The organization said mass vaccination was not required or recommended at that time.