JAKARTA/COPENHAGEN (REUTERS, XINHUA) – Indonesia has confirmed its first monkeypox infection, detected in a person who had returned from an unidentified country with documented cases, a Health Ministry spokesperson said on Saturday August 20.
The 27-year-old tested positive in the capital Jakarta on Friday evening, Mohammad Syahril told a news conference.
The Indonesian national, who is “fine” with only mild symptoms, is self-isolating at home, said Mr Syahril, who did not say where the patient was from.
“We have followed the tracing of close contacts and we will verify them,” he said, adding that the government is in the process of procuring around 10,000 vaccines for monkeypox.
The Ministry of Health calls for calm and reassures the public that monkeypox is treatable. It has so far tested 22 suspected cases across the country, all of which tested negative.
Neighboring Singapore reported its first case of monkeypox last month and had confirmed 15 as of August 5. Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Thailand have also confirmed cases.
Experts say monkeypox is a viral disease that can be spread from person to person through close contact with an infected person, including hugs, kisses, massage or sex.
Public health agencies have pointed out that although in many countries outbreaks are concentrated among men who have sex with men, anyone can contract the virus through prolonged close contact or from particles on items such as as bedding or towels.
The first female case of monkeypox in Denmark was reported on Friday. The woman was one of five new cases of the disease in Denmark in the past 24 hours.
“This is an isolated case of infection in a woman, which the Patient Safety Agency is tracking. According to the Statens Serum Institute (SSI) assessment, with the current number of cases , individual cases of infection can be expected to spread to other groups,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said.
“We have expanded the target group for vaccination and purchased new supplies, so that anyone in an at-risk group can be offered a vaccine,” he added.
The World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency, with more than 40,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox, including a handful of deaths, in more than 80 countries where the virus is not endemic.
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