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Two more monkeypox cases confirmed in Singapore

Two more cases of monkeypox infection in Singapore have been confirmed, bringing the total number of infections in the country to eight.

In an update on its website on Sunday (Jul 24), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that both the new cases are not linked to any of the earlier monkeypox infections.

The first is an imported case involving a 46-year-old Estonian man who came to Singapore from London on Jul 21 and tested positive for monkeypox on Jul 24.

He developed rashes, had a fever and swollen lymph nodes, and sought medical care on Jul 23, according to MOH. He was admitted to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on the same day.

The second case involves a 26-year-old Singaporean man who tested positive for monkeypox on Jul 24.

He developed rashes and sought medical care on Jul 24. He was subsequently admitted to NCID on the same day.

Both cases are in stable condition and contact tracing is ongoing, said MOH.

Monkeypox is a viral disease that is typically self-limiting, with patients recovering within 14 to 21 days.

Those who are infected usually experience fever, headache, muscle ache, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, lethargy and rash.

Each monkeypox case typically generates three to four close contacts who require quarantine. This is unlike COVID-19, which may generate up to 20 quarantine orders, said the Health Minister.

Of the eight monkeypox cases announced in Singapore since June, four are imported and the other four are local. None of the cases so far are linked.

On Monday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that MOH does not recommend the mass vaccination of Singapore’s population against monkeypox, reiterating the ministry’s stance on the viral disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

A surge in monkeypox infections has been reported globally since early May outside the West and Central African countries where the disease has long been endemic.

A public health emergency of international concern is the top alert available to the WHO to tackle a global disease outbreak.

It is defined as “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response”.

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