Monkeypox is now an infectious disease in Poland – Regulations of the Minister of Health


Monkeypox is a zoonotic infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus (MPXV) in the Orthopoxvirus genus. In favourable conditions it can be transmitted between humans through close contact with infectious material from lesions of infected individuals, as well as via droplets in case of prolonged face-to-face contact. The virus may also spread through infected objects. Initial symptoms of the disease include high fever, headache and back pain, enlarged lymph nodes and severe fatigue. A further symptom is the appearance of a rash that persists for 2 to 4 weeks. While the rash is present, the patient may spread the disease and the scars left by the scabs are very deep and may take even up to 4 hears to heal.

In the past, infections and outbreaks of monkeypox were limited to Africa, with only isolated cases appearing in Europe that did not lead to outbreaks. On 7 May 2022, the United Kingdom reported the first case of monkeypox in Europe in an individual travelling from Nigeria. By 27 May 2022, a total of over 300 cases of monkeypox were confirmed. As of today, i.e. 3 June 2022, no cases have been identified in Poland.


On 27 May, the Minister of Health issued new regulations:

  • Regulation of the Minister of Health of 27 May 2022 on monkeypox and monkeypox virus infections,
  • Regulation of the Minister of Health of 27 May 2022 amending the regulation on infectious diseases requiring hospitalisation,
  • Regulation of the Minister of Health of 27 May 2022 amending the regulation on notifying suspected and confirmed infections, infectious diseases and resulting deaths.

According to the first regulation, an announcement was made that monkeypox and monkeypox infections are subject to regulations governing the prevention and treatment of infections and infectious diseases in humans.

Pursuant to the second regulation, people who are infected or sick or suspected to be infected or sick with monkeypox are subject to mandatory hospitalisation. In addition, the regulation implements mandatory quarantine or epidemiological supervision on individuals exposed to infection or coming into contact with the MPXV virus. Mandatory quarantine in monkeypox infections will last 21 days – same as in the case of Ebola, smallpox and viral haemorrhagic fevers – counting from the day following after the last day of exposure or contact.

The third regulation requires physicians and paramedics to report any cases of suspected or confirmed monkeypox infections or deaths caused by the disease. Cases are reported by telephone and confirmed in writing or electronic form.

All three regulations entered into force one day after their publication, i.e. on 28 May 2022.


As of today, no targeted treatment exists. Specialists claim that antiviral medications or cowpox antibodies may be of some effect against the virus. It is also likely that those vaccinated against smallpox will be protected against the MPXV virus. Note is also made of a new smallpox vaccine, registered as ImvanexTM. The vaccine contains a modified Ankara-MVA cowpox strain. As of today, the vaccine is not registered for use in preventing monkeypox or available in retail.

Experts stress that at the moment there is no cause for significant alarm and believe that the virus does not pose a significant danger to the human population.






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