Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed an imported case of monkeypox infection in the country involving a Nigerian national who arrived in the country for a workshop last month.
The 38-year-old Nigerian arrived in Singapore alone on April 28 before he was tested positive for monkeypox on May 8.
Following the case, it is the first ever monkeypox infection reported in Singapore.
At the moment, the man is receiving treatment in an isolation ward at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) and is in stable condition.
Those who have been identified as having close contacts with the man are also put under quarantine.
Following that, 23 people — 18 participants and trainers at the workshop the man attended, one staff at the workshop’s venue and four hotel staff have been examined and offered vaccination by NCID.
Vaccination can “prevent the disease or reduce the severity of symptoms,” as told by MOH.
The Nigerian man attended a workshop at 3 Church Street on April 29 and April 30. He also had been staying at a hotel at 21 Lorong 8 Geylang since April 28.
According to MOH, the man attended a wedding back in Nigeria where he may have eaten bush meat, which was how he contracted the monkeypox virus.
Then on April 30, the man reportedly caught a fever, muscle ache, chills and skin rash. He later stayed in his hotel room most of the time before he was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital by ambulance.
However, the public should not worry about the spread of the virus as the virus is “self-limiting”, and “most patients will recover within two to three weeks.”
“In some cases, however, the virus can cause serious complications such as pneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis (brain inflammation) and eye infection with ensuing loss of vision,” said MOH.
Here are some facts that you need to know about monkeypox virus:
- It is called monkeypox as it was first discovered in laboratory monkeys in 1958.
- A rare viral disease that occurs in West and Central Africa.
- Caused by a virus primarily transmitted to humans from infected animals (like rodents, monkeys and bats) and through the hunting and consumption of bush meat.
- Human-to-human transmission is limited. However, it can spread through the infected person’s respiratory tract secretions or skin lesions.
- Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, backache, swollen lymph nodes and skin rash.
Currently, there are no specific treatments available for monkeypox virus but smallpox vaccination is said to be effective up to 85 percent to prevent the viral infection.