Are there already isolation rules for suspected or contact cases of monkey pox?

Asked by Claire

Are there already isolation rules for suspected or contact cases of monkey pox?

Hi Claire,

Following the Covid-19 epidemic, monkey pox continues to spread in the EU and France, where at least 8 cases have already been identified on Friday 27 May.

In an attempt to limit the spread of the virus, Santé Publique France has already implemented an isolation protocol for infected persons, probable or suspected cases with a password: isolation.

For infected people

Confirmed cases must be isolated for 3 weeks from their date of onset of signs if their clinical condition does not require hospitalization. A work stoppage or a full-time permit for teleworking can be issued to them by their attending physician.indicates Public Health France in its health protocol.

SPF also recommends “isolate yourself from people” share the same home, “wear mask”, “not having physical contact with other people” and “not to share their clothes, their bedding and bedding or their dishes with other people”.

Finally, health authorities are renewing the tracking strategy tested at the start of the Covid-19 epidemic. Persons who have been contaminated and whose test is positive must complete a mandatory declaration and an investigation will be carried out to determine the origin of the contamination.

For probable and suspected cases

There are people with one “vesicular eruption indicative of MKP2, preceded or absent by fever marked or measured above 38 ° C” and who in the 3 weeks before the onset of these signs have been in risk contact with an infected person. In this case, 3 weeks of isolation is also requested, from the onset of clinical signs and work stoppage or remote work permit.

Suspected cases must isolate themselves pending the result of their test.

For contact cases

By “unprotected direct physical contact” SPF means any contact with damaged skin, body fluids, sexual acts, medical care, sharing toiletries or contact with dirty textiles or tableware or unprotected contact within two meters for three hours.

In this case, the health authorities do not recommend isolation if the person has no symptoms.

On the other hand, a vaccination will be offered, “ideally within 4 days of the risk contact and no more than 14 days later” according to Public Health France.


Monkey pox or “simian orthopoxvirus” is a rare disease if the pathogen can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa.

When the virus reaches humans, it is mainly from various wild animals, e.g. rodents or primates. Human-to-human transmission is limited, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

Its symptoms are similar in less severe cases to those previously observed in those affected by smallpox: fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain during the first five days. Then rashes (on the face, palms, soles of the feet), lesions, pustules and finally crusts appear.

It was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) in a 9-year-old boy living in an area from which smallpox had been eliminated since 1968.

Since 1970, human cases of monkey pox have been reported in 10 African countries.

In the spring of 2003, cases were also confirmed in the United States, marking the first appearance of this disease outside the African continent.

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