Singapore detects first case of rare monkeypox

Singaporean Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on May 9 that it has detected the first case of monkeypox, with the patient identified as a 38-year-old Nigerian who arrived in Singapore in late last month. 
Hands of a patient with monkeypox in 1997 (Source:
Hands of a patient with monkeypox in 1997 (Source:

The ministry assumed he might contract the disease by eating bushmeat at a wedding in Nigeria that he attended before his arrival in Singapore. Bushmeat, which can be chimpanzee, gorilla, antelope, birds or rodent, is a staple of some African diets and could be a source of transmission of the virus.

The man is in stable condition in an isolation ward at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, the ministry added.

Although the risk of the disease spreading among human is low, the MOH said it is taking precautions by investigating 23 persons identified as being in close contact with the patient while he was in Singapore.

Monkeypox is a virus similar to the human smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980. It does not spread easily from person to person, but can be fatal in rare cases. The infection typically lasts between two and four weeks, starting from fever and headache to small bumps that spread over the body.

Human cases of monkeypox have been reported in west and central Africa since the 1970s, and the first cases outside Africa were reported in the US in 2003. According to the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox have only been documented on human three times outside Africa – in the US, the UK and Israel.

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