Monkey Pox Alert

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ACT Health has issued a public health alert for monkeypox, after the authorities identified two cases in the ACT.

Both identified cases are currently isolating at home with support from Canberra Health Services, and ACT Health.

The affected people have mild symptoms, and have recently returned from Europe.

ACT Health said the transmission risk to the community remains low, but they are continuing to conduct tracing, and haven’t identified any high-risk contacts.

Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said it’s important to remember that monkeypox is rare, and not easily spread as it usually requires direct skin-to-skin contact, or prolonged face-to-face contact.

“Illness associated with the monkeypox virus is usually mild, although complications can occur,” Dr Coleman said.

“Symptoms may initially include fever, chills, muscle aches, backache, and swollen lymph nodes.”

“Following these symptoms, a rash usually develops, that spreads to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through stages, like chickenpox, before finally becoming a scab.”

Doctor Coleman called on Canberrans to isolate if they have these symptoms, and to call their GP to organise a telehealth appointment in the first instance.

She said, if this isn’t possible, Canberrans can call the Canberra Sexual Health clinic on (02) 5124 2184.

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