Monkeypox is probably already in Indonesia, doctors’ association warns

File photo of a monkeypox infection.
File photo of a monkeypox infection.

With neighboring countries already reporting cases, the Indonesian Doctors’ Association (IDI) says there’s a big probability that monkeypox is already in the archipelago, but it has gone undetected thus far.

Indonesia has yet to officially report a single monkeypox case. Yesterday, the Ministry of Health announced one suspected case, involving a 55-year-old man in Central Java who is exhibiting some of the symptoms associated with the disease.

IDI reminded the public and the government about Indonesia’s past failures with COVID-19, and warned the country not to take monkeypox lightly.

“[Monkeypox being in Indonesia] is a huge probability, but there has been no diagnosis yet,” IDI COVID-19 Task Force Head Zubairi Djoerban said today.

Monkeypox may have gone undetected, Zubairi added, because many doctors and members of the public aren’t yet fully aware of the novel disease’s symptoms.

He called on the government to set up a hotline for the public to report monkeypox symptoms to prevent the proliferation of the disease.

Monkeypox has been detected in 76 countries as of Aug. 4, including in neighboring nations Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. Symptoms include headache, fever, muscle aches, exhaustion, rash, spots, and blister-like lesions usually concentrated in the genital area.

Monkeypox is contracted after a person is in prolonged physical contact with an infected individual, including sex, though it is not considered an STD.

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