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Australia’s first cases of monkeypox virus identified in NSW and Victoria

Health officials say the men, in their 30s and 40s, had recently returned from Europe and were now living at home or in a hospital.
Two cases of monopoly virus have been confirmed in Australia, one in New South Wales and the other in Victoria.

The NSW case was a man in his 40’s who became ill a few days after returning to Europe. She and a local contact separated at home, NSW Health said on Friday.

The state health official, Dr Kerry Chant, said the first test was available and a subsequent test confirmed the case.

The Victorian case was a return visit to the UK.
The man, in his 30s, developed mild symptoms before returning to Melbourne on May 16 and sought immediate medical attention.

“Tests have confirmed that he has the virus and lives alone in Alfred with mild symptoms,” the Victoria Department of Health said on Friday.

Australia has joined a growing list of countries affected by rare diseases in tropical areas including Italy, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, the US and the UK.

Monkeypox occurs mainly in central and western Africa, often near rain forests, and is considered widespread in the Democratic Republic of Congo, when it was first discovered in humans in the 1970’s.

The disease can be transmitted to others through airborne droplets, close contact with the body or sharing dirty linen or objects.

Four African countries – Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria – have reported cases of monkeypox in 2022.

Chant said the monkey is a rare virus that does not spread easily among humans. It usually required that “face-to-face contact for a long time” spread, he said.
The health official said people should be especially vigilant when returning from overseas “from major events or sex on the premises”.

NSW’s health minister, Brad Hazzard, said “there is no doubt that” there will be a high number of cases in Australia “based on the long history of monotheypox that has existed since the 1970s in the population”.

“My view of this is that it is a party season in Europe and North America. They are out of Covid and there are a lot of events going on … in close relationships, ”he said.
Chant said the disease is “usually a minor illness and most people recover in a few weeks”.

He said the people most at risk were those with “a strong immune system or disease…”

The general public and health clinics should be aware of and have unusual skin rashes checked by specialist staff, says the World Health Organization.

The WHO also called for a stronger line of communication during the increase in cases.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said health officials were monitoring the situation closely.

“My advice is that it’s more contagious than Covid and stuff like that,” Morrison said in Perth.

“We should take this seriously [but] at the same time I would say that no one should be shocked at this point. We have the best health authorities in the world. ”

The Victoria Department of Health said doctors should consider a monkeypox test for returning travelers with consistent symptoms.

The state health official, Prof Brett Sutton, said the alleged monkey clusters in Europe and North America appear to be related to West Africa.

News Reporter

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