6. Positive test for mpox
As recommended by the WHO at the end of 2022, the term "mpox" is now being used as a synonym for "monkeypox".
If your test is positive, a member of the cantonal doctor's office will contact you.
Depending on your symptoms and the location of your sores and pimples, and after doing a risk assessment, specific and adapted recommendations will be given to you, to be applied during the whole period of contagion. The aim of these recommendations is to prevent you from passing on mpox to other people. For example, it may be necessary to:
- Stay at home
- Stay in your room, depending on the configuration of your home
- Avoid meeting other people
- Avoid going to places where there are many people and where you cannot keep your distance
- Prefer working from home.
These measures will be discussed with you. They will be adapted to your situation.
In any event, it is imperative to:
- Limit close contacts, including sexual relations;
- Avoid sharing objects (sheets, clothes, kitchenware, etc.)
- Wear a mask and cover your pimples if you go out or meet other people
- Avoid people at risk of complications (pregnant women, young children, elderly people, people with a weakened immune system).
End of period of contagion
The individualised recommendations given to you by the SMC must be followed during your period of contagiousness. You are no longer considered contagious when all sores have scabbed over, the scab has fallen off and a new layer of skin has formed over it (wound healing). This lasts, depending on the person, between 2 to 4 weeks.
At the end of the contagion period, a thorough cleaning of the home including surfaces, bedding, clothes and dishes must be carried out.
After the period of contagion
Research is underway to find out if the mpox virus is also present in other body fluids such as vaginal secretions or semen. As a precaution, the UK health authorities recommend condom use for at least 8 weeks after infection. The World Health Organisation (WHO) even recommends condom use for 12 weeks after recovery.
It is also important to identify the people to whom you could have transmitted the virus.
People living in the same household as you, people with whom you had intimate relations in the days before the onset of symptoms and health professionals who may have had unprotected contact with you will receive a recommendation to watch for symptoms and avoid meeting people at risk of complications. Post-exposure vaccination may also be offered in some cases. If they develop symptoms, testing is required.