The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday (14 May) that of the 23 people have been identified so far as having come in close contact with the patient, five are Singapore residents. The rest are from Britain, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Vietnam. Most of the 23 people identified had attended the same workshop at the man who brought the virus into the country.

MOH has offered these 23 individuals vaccinations to prevent the disease or reduce the severity of the symptoms. They are all also being held under quarantine for 21 days from their contact with the patient to be monitored as a precaution.

A 38-year old Nigerian was found to have contracted the monkeypox virus – possibly from consuming bush meat while attending a wedding in Nigeria – just before his arrival in Singapore. Luckily, he didn’t leave his hotel room much except to attend a workshop on 29 and 30 April, limiting his contact with the general population.

The man had apparently developed a skin rash, muscle aches, chill, and fever on 30 April. Consequently, he decided to remain in his hotel room most of the time between 1 to 7 May. On 7 May, he was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital by ambulance and referred to the NCID on the same day. Tests confirmed a day later that he was infected with monkeypox.

MOH said that as of Monday (13 May) evening, none of the 23 people showed any symptoms. The Nigerian patient, on the other hand, is being treated at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID)’s isolation ward. MOH added that he is ‘recovering well’, is in ‘stable condition’ and will be released once he has recovered and is determined to be non-infectious.

MOH said in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia (CNA), “The patient was assessed to be a suspect case of monkeypox as he was presenting symptoms that are highly suggestive of monkeypox, had a relevant travel history and reported potential consumption of bush meat.”

According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevent, monkeypox infections outside of Africa have only been reported in the United States, Britain, and Israel. Singapore now joins that list.

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