Monkeypox virus infection

Statutory notification

Public health management

Important information

  • Infectious agent: monkeypox virus.
  • Transmission: close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus, such as bedding.
  • Incubation period: 5 – 21 days (but usually 6 – 13 days). Rash appears 1 – 5 days after initial symptoms.
  • Infectious period: People with monkeypox are infectious from the onset of the prodrome until the vesicles have scabbed over and the scabs have fallen off.
  • Case isolation: Isolate until all lesions have crusted, scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed underneath. High risk settings include healthcare facilities (unless seeking medical attention), residential aged care, childcare facilities or prisons.
  • Contact exclusion: Monitor for symptoms for 21 days. Refer to public health for contact management advice which may include quarantine or exclusion from high risk settings, depending on the level of risk. Low risk contacts do not require exclusion.
  • Treatment: Mostly self-limiting disease. Treatment varies according to symptoms, consult with infectious disease specialist regarding treatment of cases.
  • Immunisation: Vaccination with the smallpox vaccine is preserved for those at the highest risk of becoming infected.
  • Case follow up: Is conducted by Public Health Units (Healthy WA) and the Communicable Disease Control Directorate.

Notifiable disease data and reports

For more information see Monkeypox.