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In view of the very unusual confirmation of cases of Monkeypox (monkey pox) in several European countries and in the United States in the last week, this page is intended to confirm that the virology laboratory at HUG has a PCR allowing the diagnosis to be made if necessary at the National Reference Center for Emerging Viral Infections (CRIVE).

Below you can find a brief summary of the current epidemiological situation as of 21.05.2022, as well as the case definition and contact persons at HUG in the event of suspicion. Given the clinical presentation, it is possible that affected patients may first consult on an outpatient basis. More information on the disease and specimen collection is available in this Monkeypox summary.

Epidemiological situation


This disease is caused by a virus similar to that of smallpox, the monkeypox virus, an orthopoxvirus (DNA virus). It is a zoonosis endemic in West Africa and Central Africa. Cases are regularly reported in some African countries, for example in Nigeria. Imported cases diagnosed outside Africa have been rare but regular since 2018.

The number of cases diagnosed outside Africa in the past week is unusual, as is the geographic distribution of cases in multiple countries at the same time, acquired out of Africa.

In the last 2 weeks, more than 80 cases of monkey pox (Monkeypox) have been confirmed in several European (England, Belgiu,, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Germany,…), North America (USA, Canada) and Australia countries.

Epidemiological investigations are in progress, and only one case seems for the moment linked to a return from Africa, the others having apparently been acquired in Europe or North America. The epidemiological links remain to be investigated, but the first available data do not indicate a clear chain of transmission. The UK, Portuguese, and Spanish cases have been described as occurring mainly in young men who have sex with men.

Clinic and case definition


The usual clinical manifestations are a fever with lymphadenopathy (cervical, inguinal), followed within 1-2 days by a first macular rash then evolving into vesicles/pustules in the mouth, on the face, the torso, and then towards the extremities (including the palms of the hands and soles of the feet).

The WHO suspected case definition is: febrile with lymphadenopathy followed by rash.



In case of suspicion, the national reference center for emerging viral infections, has a PCR for diagnosis (ideally skin lesions swab (to be stored in VTM), or throat swab (before the appearance of lesions). 

In case of suspicion, please contact the ID consultant physician (34 227) and IPC (30 989).

Before sending a specimen to the CRIVE, please call 079 55 30 922 (24/24) and please fill the analysis request form

Specimens are to be transported as cat A UN 2814 (triple layer) for confirmations, category B for suspicions.

It is a disease that must be reported within 2 hours in the event of suspicion, both to the cantonal doctor and to the FOPH.

Transmission occurs through the respiratory route as well as through direct contact with a lesion (infected fluid). The preventive measures are therefore the AIR + CONTACT measures.

Last update : 24/05/2022