Johor monitoring Singapore’s monkeypox infection closely

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 12 May 2019

A monkeypox patient in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during an outbreak in 1997. PHOTO: CDC/ BRIAN W.J. MAHY.

JOHOR BARU: The Johor health authorities are closely monitoring the monkeypox infection in Singapore following a case in the island republic involving a Nigerian national.

The authorities were keeping an eye on the situation across the Causeway, said State Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar.

He added that the Health Department had also been told to monitor health clinics for any patient who showed signs of the monkeypox.

“People should not panic because we found that human infection from monkeypox is rare and it is mainly through the digestion of infected bush meats such as

monkeys, rodents and bats,” he said.

Common symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, muscle ache, backache, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash.

It was reported that Singapore has confirmed one imported case of monkeypox infection involving a Nigerian national who arrived at the island republic last month to attend a workshop.

The 38-year-old man tested positive for the rare viral disease, which is primarily transmitted to humans from animals, on Wednesday, said its Health Ministry.

He is now in an isolation ward at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

The patient is in stable condition.

Before coming to Singapore, the man attended a wedding in Nigeria where he might have consumed bush meat.

Bush meat, the meat of wild animals hunted and sold for food, is a source of protein in some parts of Africa where meat from domesticated animals is scarce or expensive.

In a statement, Singapore’s health ministry said monkeypox was usually self-limiting, with most patients recovering within two to three weeks.

It said that transmission of the disease between humans was possible but limited, as a person is infectious only when he has symptoms, particularly a skin rash.

The ministry has identified the people who had come into close contact with the man, including 18 participants and trainers who attended the same workshop, one worker at the workshop venue and four hotel staff members.

Most of them have been placed under quarantine as a precautionary measure.

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