Singapore reports rare monkeypox case, quarantines enforced

May 10, 2019

Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed its first case of monkeypox infection, apparently brought in a 38-year-old Nigerian man who ate bushmeat prior to his arrival in the republic in late April. He is currently warded in isolation at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), and is reportedly in a stable condition.

MOH’s investigation has identified 23 persons who were close contacts of the patient – 18 participants/trainers and one staff member at workshopon Church Street, and another four hotel staff. They have been assessed by NCID and vaccinated to prevent monkeypox or reduce the severity of symptoms, and will be quarantined and monitored for 21 days.

The monkeypox virus is similar to the human smallpox virus, causing fever, blisters and general unease. Human monkeypox infections have only been documented thrice outside Africa in the past decade, and only several cases were reported within the nation. The common source is infected bushmeat, sometimes chimpanzee, antelope, birds or rodents, which is otherwise a staple of African diets. While the monkeypox virus lasts 2-4 weeks, it is rarely fatal, and does not spread easily among people.

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