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.
“While the current overseas outbreak has disproportionately impacted men who have sex with men, anyone who has had close contact with a person with monkeypox is advised to self-monitor for symptoms.”
“People who develop symptoms of monkeypox should isolate, wear a mask and contact their GP or a sexual health clinic, who can advise about testing for monkeypox.”
The infection usually causes a mild illness and most people recover within two to four weeks.
However vulnerable people such as infants and immunosuppressed people, can be at higher risk of severe disease.
Since May there has been more than 25 000 monkeypox cases reported worldwide but only about 40 in Australia.
It is endemic in Central or West Africa.
With monkeypox declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation last month, questions have been asked in recent days when high-risk Australians could receive a vaccine.
In response, the Federal Government announced it had secured 450 000 vaccines to help battle the outbreak.
Australia had previously secured small supplies of two smallpox vaccines, which provide protection against the disease.