SYDNEY – Australian authorities said on Friday they had detected a possible case of monkeypox infection in a traveler returning from Europe, with confirmation tests underway.
According to the New South Wales (NSW) state health department, a man in his 40s developed a mild illness several days after returning to Sydney with symptoms that were medically compatible with MonkeyPix. The man and a family acquaintance are separated at home.
Cases of monkeypox have been detected in several non-native countries in recent weeks, including in Europe and the United States.
State Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said health officials across the NSW have taken steps to identify and manage any potential monkeypox cases, including clinical alerts from doctors and hospitals.
Monkeypox, which is found mostly in West and Central Africa, is a rare virus like human smallpox, though mild. It was first recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s. Cases have increased in West Africa over the past decade.
Symptoms include fever, headache, and skin rashes that spread from the mouth to the rest of the body.
“People can become infected with monkeypox through very close contact with people infected with the virus. The infection is usually a mild illness and most people recover within a few weeks, “Chant said in a statement.
(Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Sam Holmes)