Singapore has reported its first case of monkeypox in a British flight attendant who entered the country last week. Officials disclosed the matter on Tuesday, saying the 42-year-old man had moved in and out of the city-state in mid-June.
This is the first recorded case of monkeypox in Southeast Asia linked to a recent global outbreak. More than 2,100 cases have been detected in 42 countries since May.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 80% of cases have been found in Europe, but the disease has also spread to North America, South America and Australia. WHO has recorded one death in this outbreak.
The disease usually occurs in remote parts of Central and West African countries, but this year the number of people infected with monkeypox outside Africa has been unusually high and there is no travel link to the region.
In Singapore, health officials said the man was in stable condition after testing positive for the disease on Monday and was taken to an isolation ward.
13 of his close contacts have also been kept in quarantine. Some media outlets reported that they were his crew and airline associates. South Korean officials also confirmed their first suspected cases of the disease on Tuesday.
Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the family of viruses similar to smallpox, although it is much less serious. Symptoms of monkeypox include a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the body.
The WHO says the risk to the general public remains low because transmission between humans requires close or direct physical contact with infectious sores or ulcers.