RANZCOG statement on Monkeypox (MPX)

RANZCOG recognises its responsibility to respond to this situation as a medical college.

RANZCOG

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Updated
15 August 2022

RANZCOG recognises its responsibility to respond to this situation as a medical college and the lead standards body in women’s health in Australia and New Zealand.

About monkeypox or MPX

MPX is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs mostly in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa but can spread to other regions. Zoonotic diseases can spread between animals and humans.

On 28 July 2022, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer declared monkeypox to be a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the MPX outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on 23 July 2022.

Key points

  • If infected, infants, young children, pregnant women and people who are immunocompromised are at higher risk of becoming severely unwell.
  • The virus can also pass to the fetus via the placenta during pregnancy.

Treatments and vaccines

Australia

In Australia, the College’s advice aligns with that issued by the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

New Zealand

Te Whatu Ora (Health NZ) and Pharmac are working to secure vaccines to use against MPX.

Information about MPX, including symptoms and public health advice can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

Resources – Australia

Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care

Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)

Resources – New Zealand

New Zealand Ministry of Health

Disclaimer

RANZCOG commentary on MPX should be considered advisory, and the general public should heed the advice of government and health authorities.

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