First case of monkeypox in Singapore: 3 other rare infectious diseases seen here previously

In 2015, a mass outbreak of 360 Group B Streptococcus infection cases occurred in Singapore, with two fatalities. About 150 of the more serious cases were linked to the consumption of raw freshwater fish. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A Nigerian national tested positive for monkeypox on Wednesday (May 8) in the first case of the rare viral disease reported here.

The man is now in an isolation ward at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases and is in a stable condition.

The disease is caused by a virus that is mainly transmitted from animals to humans, and usually requires prolonged face-to-face contact to be transmitted between humans.

It is not the first rare infectious disease to have hit Singapore's shores in recent years. Here are three more.

1. Candida auris infection

Candida auris is a drug-resistant invasive fungus that kills nearly half of its victims in 90 days. It is not a threat to healthy individuals and has so far been seen mostly in patients with weakened immune systems. At least three cases have been seen in a Singapore hospital since 2012, according to a New Paper report.

The first patient, a Singaporean woman who was hurt in a road accident in India in 2012, recovered. The other two cases in 2016 involved a Bangladeshi man and an American man who were treated in Singapore.

2. Zika virus infection

The mosquito-borne Zika virus made headlines in 2015 when thousands of people in Brazil were affected and babies were born with Zika-related birth defects.

The first locally-transmitted case here was announced in August 2016, involving a woman who had no history of travel to countries affected by Zika then. About 450 people had been infected here by the end of that year.

Only about one in five people infected actually falls ill. Common signs to look out for include a slight fever, rash, conjunctivitis, headache and joint and muscle pain.

As of last month, there have been four Zika cases this year.

3. Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection

GBS is a bacterium commonly found in the gut and urinary tract of about 15 to 30 per cent of adults without causing any disease. But it may occasionally cause infections of the skin, joints, heart and brain. The most common symptom of infection is a fever.

A mass outbreak of 360 cases occurred in Singapore in 2015, with two fatalities. About 150 of the more serious cases were linked to the consumption of raw freshwater fish and involved an aggressive strain known as Type III GBS Sequence Type 283, leading the National Environment Agency to impose a nationwide ban on the sale of such fish.

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