Advice if you have been diagnosed with mpox
This article provides advice and information on what to do if you have been diagnosed with mpox.
What should you do if you are infected with mpox?
If you have been diagnosed with mpox, avoid close contact with others, including sexual contact, during the period you are contagious*. Beyond this, you can live relatively normally, although you should cover the rash with clothes or plasters. If you have a widespread rash or respiratory symptoms, you should go into isolation until you are well, the crusts have fallen off and intact skin has formed underneath.
If you live with people who are particularly susceptible to a severe disease course, for example, small children (under 6-years-old), pregnant women, frail elderly people and people with weakened immune systems, you should consider staying in another suitable place, if possible. People whose work requires particularly close contact with others or with people at high risk of a severe disease course should be given sick leave during the contagious period.
*Mpox is contagious from when the first symptoms appear until the rash has healed and new, intact skin has formed underneath.
Practical advice for those who have been diagnosed with mpox
- stay and sleep in your own room if you live with others, especially if you live with people at high risk of a severe disease course
- clean the bathroom after use, especially if you live with others. Use a separate bathroom if possible
- use your own towels and other toiletries
- take care with hand hygiene. Always wash hands with soap and water (or hand disinfectant) after contact with lesions and bodily fluids, or after contact with clothes, towels and bedding, or surfaces that may be contaminated.
- avoid the rash touching furniture such as sofas and chairs. For example, you could place a sheet over furniture if necessary.
- handle and wash all dirty laundry yourself. Bed linen, towels and other textiles should, if possible, be washed at a minimum of 60°C with normal washing powder.
- discard waste from wound care into a garbage bag that is tied securely and placed inside another bag. This can be thrown away with normal waste.
- contact a doctor if you need medical attention and use a face mask if you have to need to attend in person.
- avoid close contact with animals - they can become infected. If this is not possible, the pet should not have contact with other animals outside the household. If you suspect transmission to animals, contact a veterinarian and notify the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
It is important to notify close contacts to help with contact tracing and follow-up. Some may be offered a preventive vaccine. Notification of close contacts is done in collaboration with a doctor, and is carried out either by you or by the health service. If the health service notifies your close contacts, they will not give your name to the contacts.
Most people do not need any treatment beyond symptom relief such as reducing fever or pain relief. A severe disease course is rarely seen. In some cases, admission to hospital may be necessary.
If symptoms get worse
Some may experience the infection as painful, especially with a rash on the mucous membranes of the throat, genitals and rectum. Contact the health service if your health deteriorates and you need medical attention (Ambulance service 116 117, alternatively 113 if immediate help is needed). Say that you have mpox when you call so measures can be taken to prevent transmission to others.
Duration of contagious phase and precautions after recovery
You are no longer contagious once the rash has dried up, the crusts have fallen off and intact skin has formed underneath. The disease course usually lasts 2 to 4 weeks.
Practical advice when you no longer have symptoms
- clean the rooms you have stayed in. Use standard household detergents for cleaning according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- wash bed linen, towels and clothes in a washing machine with regular detergent. Dirty laundry should not be shaken, but carefully packed together before washing.
- use a condom. The virus can be detected in semen for several weeks after isolation. It is therefore important to use condoms in the following 12 weeks after the end of isolation.
- do not donate blood, other biological material, or organs during the contagious period, and for a while afterwards.
- Read more about mpox at helsenorge.no