Singapore reports first monkeypox infection, 13 quarantined

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

The monkeypox virus has arrived in Singapore, health officials said last night.

Singapore’s first infection struck an unidentified 42-year-old male Brit who was in the city-state last week as a flight attendant and developed a headache and skin rashes before testing positive for the viral disease on Monday.

He is currently stable and warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. 

Contact tracing on the affected flights and close contacts are ongoing, the ministry said. He flew in and out of Singapore twice between June 15 and June 19.

As of yesterday, 13 close contacts were placed in quarantine for 21 days while two low-risk contacts were monitored through phone.

While he spent most of his time in the hotel room, he went to a massage establishment and ate at three food establishments on Thursday. None were named, but all are being disinfected.

But the ministry said the risk of transmission is “low” as the disease transmits through “close physical or prolonged contact.” 

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, lethargy, and skin rash. 

Transmission occurs through exposure to respiratory droplets or direct physical contact with the blood, body fluid or lesion material from the infected. One remains infected until the scars on the skin have scabbed.

The ministry urges people to keep washing their hands and avoid touching any scabs from anyone or any animal.

At least 35 countries have reported more than 2,500 cases of monkeypox. South Korea this morning also reported its first two cases in Busan city. 

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