Indonesia Detects Its First Monkeypox Case


Jakarta, – Indonesia announced Saturday Indonesia’s first monkeypox case, becoming the latest country in Southeast Asia and 84th in the world that t

The patient was a 27 Indonesian male living in Jakarta, who had just returned from an overseas trip on Aug 8, the Ministry of Health spokesman Mohammad Syahril said in a press briefing. 

Syahril said the man was feeling the symptoms on Aug 16 and went to a doctor two days later to take a polymerase reaction chain reaction (PCR) test for the monkeypox virus. 

“We got the [positive] result yesterday night. We announced it now as our commitment to transparency to the public,” he said. 

“The patient got a fever, lymphatic swelling, and rash on his face, hands, feet, and genital area. It can be said he only has mild symptoms,” he said. 

Syahril said the patient is now self-isolating at his home. “Unlike Covid-19, monkeypox doesn’t need a special isolation chamber with negative air pressure. 

Syahril said monkeypox could spread through close contact with the patients. That includes face-to-face, skin-to-skin, mouth-to-mouth, or mouth-to-skin contact, including sexual intercourse. Ones can also catch the virus by touching surfaces of items previously used by monkeypox patients.

Still, the government did not see the need to implement any community-level restrictions to contain monkeypox for now.

“This is a self-limiting disease that would disappear after 20 days if the patient does not have any preexisting condition,” Syahril said.

Indonesia has been on alert for a monkeypox spread since the World Health Organization asked countries to increase their vigilance after the United Kingdom experienced an outbreak last May. Before the period, the monkeypox virus was only endemic in several African countries. 

“We have implemented several precautionary measures, including surveillance in our international entry points and alerting the health facilities,” the spokesman said. 

Since May, the country has detected 23 suspected monkeypox cases but later discarded 22 of them, Syahril said. | Jakarta Globe

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