Singapore Confirms First Local Monkeypox Case

More than 6,000 monkeypox cases have been reported in 58 countries, according to WHO, with over 80% of the infections in Europe.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 – Singapore health authorities have confirmed the first locally transmitted case of monkeypox infection in the republic.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said the patient is a 45-year-old Malaysian man residing in Singapore who tested positive for monkeypox yesterday and is currently in stable condition.

This local case was not linked to an imported case announced last June 21.

“The case first developed lower abdomen skin lesions on 30 June, and subsequently experienced fatigue and swollen lymph nodes on 2 July,” Singapore’s MOH said in a statement yesterday.

“On 4 July, he developed fever and a sore throat and sought medical attention where initial tests for other possible medical conditions were done. When these tests returned negative, he was subsequently conveyed to NCID (National Centre for Infectious Diseases) on 6 July, where he was isolated for further assessment.

“As of 6 July, three close contacts have been identified, involving two housemates and one social contact. All close contacts will be placed on quarantine for 21 days from their last contact with the case. Contact tracing is ongoing.”

Singapore’s MOH noted that monkeypox patients typically recover on their own within two to four weeks, although a small percentage of those infected can fall seriously ill or die.

“Those particularly vulnerable to complications are young children, pregnant women or immunocompromised individuals. Given that transmission requires close physical or prolonged contact, the risk to the general public remains low.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that more than 6,000 monkeypox cases have been reported in 58 countries in the current outbreak; over 80 per cent of the infections were reported in Europe.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was quoted saying that the global health body will determine later this month whether to declare the monkeypox outbreak as a global public health emergency.

WHO regional director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, reportedly said that most cases of the monkeypox virus affected men aged 21 to 40, many of whom have sex with other men.

However, he noted that small numbers of cases have also been reported among household members, heterosexual contacts, and nonsexual contacts, as well as in children.

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