DOH Issues Health Advisory on Monkeypox Cases in Health Care Delivery Settings

July 26, 2022

On July 25, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) issued the attached health advisory on the care of patients infected with monkeypox in the health care setting. The advisory provides clarification on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), patient placement, waste management, health care worker (HCW) exposure to monkey pox, and the duration of precautions required when caring for a patient with monkeypox. A summary of the guidelines is below:

  • Notification of infection prevention and control
    • If a patient is suspected of monkeypox, infection prevention and control at the health care facility should be notified immediately
  • HCW and patients exposed to monkeypox
    • HCWs and patients in health care facilities exposed to monkeypox should be monitored and receive postexposure prophylaxis management according to current recommendations (attached)
  • Use of PPE
    • Gown, gloves, eye protection, and respirator with N95 or higher-rated filter
  • Patient placement
    • Single person room (special air handling is not required)
    • Dedicated bathroom
    • If patient is transported from their room, exposed lesions should be covered with a sheet, wound dressing, or gown
    • Any procedures generating oral secretions (e.g., suctioning of airways) should be performed in an airborne infection isolation room
  • Waste management
    • If patient does not have a known epidemiological risk for the Congo Basin clade of monkeypox, it is appropriate to manage waste from suspected monkeypox patients as regulated medical waste
  • Environmental infection control
    • Standard cleaning and disinfection procedures using US Environmental Protection Agency and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation-registered hospital-grade disinfectant with an emerging viral pathogen claim
    • Management of food service items should also be performed in accordance with routine procedures
  • Duration of precautions
    • If a patient requires medical care and is isolated for monkeypox, decisions for discontinuation of the isolation precautions should be made with the local or state health department. All isolation precautions should be maintained until all lesions have crusted, separated, and a fresh layer of health skin has formed underneath.

GNYHA encourages health care facilities to review the full text of the guidance.

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