Singapore reports first case of rare monkeypox virus
13 May 2019
Singapore has reported the first ever case of monkeypox in the city-state, which is rare in these parts of the world, but endemic in Central and Western Africa.
The virus is reported to have been brought in by a Nigerian man who likely contracted the rare virus by eating bushmeat at a wedding.
Symptoms of monkeypox include lesions, fever, muscle ache and chills. Transmission of the virus is usually via close contact with infected animals such as rodents and monkeys and is limited between people.
It is not normally fatal but has been in rare cases.
The Nigerian man carrying the virus reportedly arrived in Singapore on 28 April, Singapore’s health ministry (MOH) said in a statement on Thursday last.
The 38-year-old developed symptoms two days later and is currently isolated at an infectious disease centre in a stable condition, the ministry said.
Another 23 individuals who had been in close contact with the man have also been quarantined and will be monitored for 21 days.
"While risk of spread is low, MOH is taking precautions," the ministry said.
Outside Africa, human moneypox infections had only been previously reported in the United States, Britain and Israel, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Singapore has toughened measures against infectious diseases after it was hit hard by the 2003 SARS virus outbreak, which killed 33 people in the city-state, inflicted major losses on the economy and hit its lucrative tourism industry.