Indonesia confirms first monkeypox case; Denmark reports first female case

The first female case of monkeypox in Denmark was reported on Aug 19. PHOTO: REUTERS

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 spokesman said on Saturday (Aug 20).

The 27-year-old male tested positive in the capital Jakarta late on Friday, Mr Mohammad Syahril told a news conference.

The Indonesian national, who is doing “well” and showing only mild symptoms, is self isolating at home, said Mr Syahril, who did not say where the patient had come from.

“We have followed up with tracing of close contacts and will check up on them,” he said, adding the government is in the process of procuring around 10,000 vaccines for monkeypox.

The health ministry is urging calm and has reassured the public that monkeypox is treatable. It has so far tested 22 suspected cases from across the country, of which all were negative.

Neighbouring Singapore reported its first case of monkeypox last month and had confirmed 15 as at Aug 5. Elsewhere in South-east Asia, the Philippines and Thailand have also confirmed cases.

Experts say monkeypox is a viral disease that can spread from person to person through close contact with an infected person, including through hugs, kisses, massages or sexual intercourse.

Public health agencies have stressed that although in many countries the 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 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 last 24 hours.

"This is an isolated case of infection in a woman, which the Agency for Patient Safety is tracing. It is the Statens Serum Institut's (SSI) assessment that with the current number of cases, individual cases of infection can be expected to spread to other groups," said Health Minister Magnus Heunicke.

"We have expanded the target group for vaccination and purchased new supplies, so that everyone who is in a risk group can be offered a vaccine," he added.

The World Health Organisation has declared a global health emergency, with more than 40,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox, including a handful of deaths, in over 80 countries where the virus is not endemic.

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