KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — Singapore’s Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of monkeypox infection in the city-state.
In its press release, the ministry stated that the patient is a 38-year-old Nigerian who arrived in Singapore on April 28 and tested positive for the virus on May 8.
He is currently in stable condition and housed in an isolation ward at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
The patient, prior to his arrival in Singapore, had attended a wedding in Nigeria. He allegedly consumed bushmeat, which could be a source of transmission for the monkeypox virus.
Bushmeat refers to meat from non-domesticated or wild animals usually hunted in jungles. Popular bushmeats include those of monkey and bats, but crocodile and antelope are also available in Africa.
The consumption of bushmeat, specifically those of fruit bats, has been blamed for periodic outbreaks of Ebola in central Africa.
Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus transmitted to humans from animals, mainly in central and western Africa where it is endemic. Infection occurs when a person comes in close contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or lesions of infected animals such as rodents, squirrels and monkeys.
Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, aches, swollen lymph nodes and skin rash. It is possible to develop serious complications such as pneumonia or even death.
Upon his arrival in Singapore, the patient later attended a workshop for two days.
The health ministry is currently conducting contact tracing to identify individuals who came into close contact with him. Twenty-three people, participants who attended the workshop and hotel employees, will be quarantined and monitored for 21 days.
In the same press release, NCID has stated that the risk of monkeypox spreading within the community is low.
This is the first case of monkeypox ever reported in Singapore.