WA records first case of monkeypox

WA has reported its first case of monkeypox in an overseas traveller who has returned home to Perth’s east.

The State’s Health Department confirmed the person is in isolation and remains well.

Public health has commenced contact tracing.

While authorities say risk to the community from this case is low, returned travellers are being urged to monitor for symptoms of the virus.

Communicable Disease Control Directorate’s director Paul Armstrong said travellers from areas with high numbers of monkeypox cases should remain vigilant.

“Monkeypox is spread to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, either by direct contact with open lesions or prolonged face to face contact, or with material contaminated with the virus,” Dr Armstrong said.

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

Dr Armstrong said people should look out for flu-like symptoms such as fever or headache before a rash sets in.

“A rash typically develops that appears as bumps, pimples or sores, and develops into fluid-filled lesions, pustules or ulcers. The rash can be widespread or localised to one area,” he said.

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