The case in Singapore involves a Briton who was in the city-state between June 15 and 17. He tested positive for monkeypox on Monday after developing skin rashes and headaches last week.
“During this period, he largely stayed in his hotel room, in addition to visiting a massage parlor and eating at three dining establishments on June 16,” the Singapore Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.
Thirteen of the man’s close contacts have been identified and contacts are being tracked, the ministry said, adding that the man was being treated at the National Center for Infectious Diseases.
In South Korea, one of the suspects cases include a foreigner who entered the country on Monday and was taken to a hospital in the city of Busan after suffering symptoms and developing blisters on his skin.
The other the suspect is a south korean citizen who turned himself in to the korean disease control and prevention agency after returning to the country from germany on wednesday. The KCDA said the South Korean, who is currently being treated at a facility in Seoul, said he had a pre-flight headache and developed a fever, sore throat, fatigue and skin lesions on arrival in the country.
The KCDA said it was conducting tests and would hold a briefing once the results were released.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smallpox, considered a milder cousin of smallpox, has an incubation period of seven to 14 days.
The initial symptoms are usually flu-like, such as fever, chills, exhaustion, headache and muscle weakness, followed by swelling of the lymph nodes, which help the body fight infections and diseases.
Later, the disease progresses to a rash and lesions that can form blisters and scabs all over the body – usually lasting two to four weeks.
The virus has been circulating for decades in some places, including parts of West and Central Africa.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently said it would close the gap between endemic and non-endemic nations to reflect a “single response”.
Lessons from Covid-19
Singapore last discovered a case of monkeypox in 2019 in a 38-year-old man from Nigeria who traveled to the city-state to attend a wedding.
“Monkeypox is not a new disease, so we actually know a lot about the disease and the virus [which] has been around for some time, ”said Khoo Yoong Khean, a doctor and researcher at the Duke-NUS Epidemic Preparedness Center in Singapore.
“But there is a change in the way the disease circulates and spreads in the current epidemic … [and] this seems to be an evolving situation. ”
Hu said lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic could be applied to any potential monkeypox epidemic in the region.
“It would be wise for countries to pay attention. We have many tools that we used for Covid-19 and they will be useful now: contract tracking methods, quarantine protocols and even a mass immunization strategy if needed.
“Although I do not think we need to worry too much about the global situation and we may be in a better place now, disease outbreaks are never predictable, as we know. We may have monkeypox surprises in the near future, so we need to continue to strengthen our health and surveillance systems, work with other countries and make better decisions. [we did] during the Covid pandemic. ”