New South Wales records second case of Monkeypox

NSW Health has identified a new case of monkeypox (MVXP) in a NSW resident who recently returned from Queensland.

A man in his 50s developed a mild illness several days after arriving back in Sydney.

He subsequently presented to his GP and then hospital with symptoms clinically compatible with monkeypox. Urgent testing is consistent with monkeypox, the second case in NSW.

The man is currently being cared for in hospital. He lives alone and investigations to date have identified no high-risk contacts in NSW who are required to isolate. Several people who had other lower level contact with the case are being contacted to advise to monitor for symptoms.

This case is not connected to the first case reported in NSW on 20 May.

NSW Health is working with Queensland Health to identify potential transmission incidents.

The state’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, reiterated the general community does not need to be concerned by the risk of the virus, which is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people.

“NSW Health is providing further information to clinicians across the state today to assist with the identification and management of potential monkeypox cases,” Dr Chant said.

“We will continue to work with GPs, hospitals and sexual health services across the state to provide advice on diagnosis and referral.”

Monkeypox is endemic to part of Africa. However, the World Health Organization reports that since mid May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported from several countries that are not endemic for monkeypox virus. Cases have occurred among men who have sex with men as well as other people.

People who develop fever and rash should call ahead before consulting their GP or sexual health service.

Health organisation ACON continues to advise gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men to be vigilant for symptoms.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said it was important that people in LGBTIQA+ communities remained vigilant.

“It’s important we stay informed and continue to be self-aware when it comes to our health. Self-awareness can help protect your health and the health of others.

“We know that people in our communities already have strong health-seeking behaviour when it comes to looking after their sexual health so please continue to monitor for symptoms, including for any unusual rashes or lesions.” Parkhill said.  “And if you are sick, feeling unwell and have any compatible MPXV symptoms, self-isolate and seek medical attention immediately.”

Symptoms of MPXV include a fever, headache, muscle aches, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash or lesions. The incubation period is usually 1-2 weeks but can be up to 21 days.

People who develop symptoms should call ahead before consulting their GP or sexual health service. They can also call the NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624.

Further information can also be found on the ACON MPXV Information Page for LGBTQ communities.

Parkhill also urged people to keep the contact details of their sexual contacts, particularly at this present time.

“In the context of MPXV, and what we are seeing overseas and what that might mean for our communities in Australia, it’s really important that the people we hook up with can be reached. This will assist with contact tracing efforts so outbreaks can be minimised and managed,” Parkhill said.

“That the man had not travelled internationally suggests there may be community transmission in Australia.

“The situation is evolving and being able to reach your sexual contacts should the need arises will help stop the spread of MPXV.” Parkhill said.

More information on the virus can be found at NSW Health.

OIP Staff

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