Monkeypox case transited through Singapore; 13 casual contacts told to monitor health

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SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): A traveller from Barcelona, who transited at Changi Airport on June 2, tested positive for monkeypox after arriving in Sydney the next day.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (June 6) it was informed of the development last Saturday by its New South Wales counterpart.

Monkeypox is an infectious disease usually transmitted to humans by animals, and has been on the rise globally. No local cases have been detected here this year.

The confirmed case left Barcelona on June 1 and arrived at Changi Airport on June 2.

He remained in the transit holding area until his departure for Sydney on the same day, and did not visit other places in the airport, said MOH.

It added that as the person did not enter Singapore or interact with others in the community, there is currently no significant risk of community transmission.

“However, as a precautionary measure, we have conducted contact tracing for the two affected flights and those who might have come into contact with the traveller at the airport transit area,” it said.

There were no assessed close contacts, and hence no requirement for quarantine, added MOH.

Thirteen people who may have had casual contact with the traveller have been put on phone surveillance for 21 days. They will receive daily calls to ascertain their health status until the end of the monitoring period.

Should they report symptoms that are suggestive of monkeypox infection, they will be medically assessed and may be conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases for further evaluation, said MOH.

Monkeypox symptoms typically include a high fever and a blistery chickenpox-like rash that clears up after a few weeks.

The World Health Organization said last Sunday that 780 laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases had been reported to it from 27 non-endemic countries, and that the global risk level is moderate.



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