MOH gives all clear to 22 who came into close contact with monkeypox victim

A Negative Pressure Isolation room at the ward in the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. The Ministry of Health said that all 22 people who came into close contact with a Nigerian tourist infected with monkeypox remain symptom-free after being
A Negative Pressure Isolation room at the ward in the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. The Ministry of Health said that all 22 people who came into close contact with a Nigerian tourist infected with monkeypox remain symptom-free after being monitored for the disease's maximum incubation period of 21 days from their last date of exposure to the patient.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - All 22 people who came into close contact with a Nigerian tourist infected with monkeypox have completed their quarantine and been given the all clear.

In an update on Tuesday (May 28), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that all remain symptom-free after being monitored for the disease's maximum incubation period of 21 days from their last date of exposure to the patient.

The 38-year-old Nigerian man who tested positive for monkeypox on May 8 while on a visit to Singapore has also recovered and assessed to be non-infectious, MOH said.

He was discharged from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases on May 24 and left the country the same day, a spokesman said.

Eight others who came into contact with him and were assessed to have a low risk of being infected were also put on active surveillance, and all have reported to be well.

Earlier this month, Singapore became the fourth country outside the African continent to report a case of monkeypox. The rare viral disease, which is primarily transmitted to humans from animals, has been likened to chicken pox or a milder version of smallpox.

Common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, backache, swollen lymph nodes and skin rash. Most patients recover in two to three weeks, though in more serious cases the virus can cause pneumonia, brain inflammation and eye infection.

The Nigerial national, who arrived here on April 28 to attend a workshop, began showing symptoms two days later. He spent most of the intervening period in his hotel room, before being taken by ambulance to Tan Tock Seng Hospital on May 7.

He told the authorities that he may have contracted the disease after eating bush meat - the meat of wild animals - at a wedding in Nigeria.

 
 
 
 

Most of those quarantined had attended the same workshop, and include four locals and 18 foreigners from Britain, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Nigeria and Vietnam.

Another foreigner who was traced by MOH to have been in close contact with the victim left the country before he could be quarantined, but has reported himself to be well.

Associate Professor Benjamin Ong, director of medical services at MOH, thanked all healthcare staff involved in the diagnosis and management of the case.

"Early detection, contact tracing and quarantine of close contacts have enabled us to tackle the monkeypox case in a proactive, swift and coordinated manner," he said in a statement.

MOH advised travellers visiting areas affected by monkeypox in Central and Western Africa to take precautions such as avoiding contact with wild animals, skin lesions of the infected and objects that may have become contaminated with infectious fluids.