Not Surprising To Detect Monkeypox Cases In Singapore Over Coming Weeks: Ong Ye Kung
As the threat of Covid-19 abates, another infectious disease is seemingly on the rise in some parts of the world — monkeypox. While rarely seen outside Africa in the past, countries in Europe and North America have reported clusters of cases since the start of this month.
If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that Singapore is not immune from such infectious diseases, despite how distant they may seem initially.
On Saturday (28 May), Health Minister Ong Ye Kung took to Facebook to share his thoughts on the virus.
Perhaps aware of growing concerns, Mr Ong admitted that it wouldn’t be surprising to detect monkeypox cases in Singapore over the coming weeks.
However, he assured the public that the authorities have prepared the necessary protocols and measures to deal with such situations.
Singapore has protocols & measures ready to deal with monkeypox
According to Mr Ong, interest surrounding monkeypox has been rising, following the detection of cases in countries outside Africa. That was also the case at the World Health Assembly which Mr Ong recently attended.Addressing the elephant in the room, Mr Ong said it wouldn’t be surprising to see monkeypox make its way to Singapore.
This is especially considering how widely-travelled Singapore residents are, coupled with the country’s status as a commercial and international hub.
Nonetheless, Mr Ong said Singapore has in place the “necessary protocols and public health measures” to deal with the virus. These were apparently “triggered” by the first and only case detected here more than three years ago.
Ong Ye Kung urges public to see a doctor if they have an unexplained rash
Though Singaporeans will naturally be concerned about the possible arrival of monkeypox, Mr Ong took the opportunity to offer some reassuring words.
Unlike Covid-19, he said that the monkeypox outbreak is unlikely to turn into a pandemic.
This apparently has to do with the mode of transmission — while Covid-19 is an airborne virus, monkeypox requires physical contact to spread.
To help manage transmissions, Mr Ong urged anyone with an unexplained rash to see a doctor immediately, even if they have not been overseas recently.
This way, a prompt diagnosis can be made and if it’s indeed monkeypox, the patient can receive the necessary care and will not spread the disease to those around them.
Mr Ong also advised residents to avoid close contact with those experiencing a fever or pox-like rash. They should additionally maintain good personal hygiene and wash their hands with soap before touching their faces.
Some symptoms of monkeypox include:
- Muscle ache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Rash lesions on face, mouth, or genital areas
Important to be vigilant despite seemingly lower transmissibility
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that Singapore is not spared from any infectious virus that might be affecting the world.
At the same time, however, it has also taught us to be more vigilant in the face of such diseases and how every one of us has a part to play to curb infections.
While monkeypox appears to be less transmissible than the coronavirus, it’s perhaps wise to be cautious and not take things lightly.
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Featured image adapted from Wikipedia.