Contact tracing underway as WA records first case of monkeypox

PIC: File

Contact tracing is underway after Western Australia recorded its first case of monkeypox.

WA Health says the person is a returning overseas traveler and is in isolation in Perth.

Although the risk to the community is low, returning travelers are advised to watch for symptoms of monkeypox virus.

Director of the Communicable Disease Control Directorate, Dr Paul Armstrong, said returning travellers, especially from areas with high numbers of monkeypox cases, should remain vigilant for symptoms.

“We ask the community to continue to be vigilant and watch for signs of the virus,” Dr Armstrong said.

“Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, either by direct contact with open lesions, or by prolonged face-to-face contact, or with material contaminated with the virus.

“A person with monkeypox can transmit the infection to others through broken skin, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding.

“Early symptoms of illness may include flu-like symptoms such as fever or headache. A rash usually develops as bumps, pimples or sores, and develops into lesions, pustules or ulcers fluid-filled The rash may be generalized or localized to one area.

“While the current outbreak overseas has disproportionately affected men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone with monkeypox is advised to self-monitor for symptoms. .

“People who develop symptoms of monkeypox should self-isolate, wear a mask and contact their GP or sexual health clinic, who can advise them on testing for monkeypox.”

A total of 53 cases of monkeypox have been recorded in Australia as of August 2.

The infection usually causes mild illness and most people recover in two to four weeks, but some people, such as infants and immunocompromised people, may be at higher risk for serious illness.