First Monkeypox Cases Identified Australia: What You Need To Know

Two cases identified

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Australia's first suspected cases of the monkeypox virus have been detected in New South Wales and Victoria.

Both Monkeypox cases are in travellers who have recently returned from Europe. 

On Friday, NSW Health identified a 'probable' case found in a Sydney man who recently returned from Europe. The man in his 40s has developed his illness shortly after returning to Sydney, where his GP identified the disease.  

“NSW Health has issued a clinician alert to GPs and hospitals across the state and has also been in contact with sexual health services to increase awareness of the cases identified overseas and to provide advice on diagnosis and referral,” New South Wales Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said.

Hours later, Victoria’s Department of Health confirmed a case has been recorded by a man in his 30s who had recently returned from the UK. 

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton told reporters on Friday the man had mild symptoms and was currently in isolation at The Alfred Hospital. 

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Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people and is usually associated with travel to Central or West Africa.

“Cases are occasionally reported in non-endemic countries in returning travellers or their close contacts, or in owners of imported pets,” Dr Chant said.

“People can contract monkeypox through very close contact with people who are infected with the virus.

Outbreaks have recently been identified in taly, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal and the United States. 

“The infection is usually a mild illness and most people recover within a few weeks," Dr Chant said.


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20 May 2022

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