The Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed one imported case of monkeypox infection.
The patient is a 38-year-old Nigerian national who arrived in Singapore alone on 28 April 2019, and was tested positive for monkeypox on 8 May. He is currently warded in an isolation ward at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), and his condition is stable.
The patient reported that prior to his arrival in Singapore, he had attended a wedding in Nigeria, where he may have consumed bush meat, which could be a source of transmission of monkeypox virus.
Professor Leo Yee Sin, Executive Director of NCID, said, “The risk of community spread of monkeypox within Singapore is low.
While risk of spread is low, MOH is taking precautions. Based on MOH’s investigation and contact tracing thus far, 23 persons have been identified as close contacts of the patient. These include 18 participants and trainers who attended the same workshop, one staff at the workshop venue and four hotel staff who had close contact with the patient. Healthcare workers who were in contact with the patient had used personal protective equipment. MOH’s investigation and contact tracing operations are ongoing.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.
Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.
The infection can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person; however there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population.