Two cases of monkeypox detected in ACT

·1-min read

Two cases of the monkeypox virus have been recorded in the ACT.

It is the first time the disease has been identified in the nation's capital.

ACT health authorities said both of the cases had travelled to Europe and recently returned to Canberra.

Both are isolating at home and have reported mild symptoms.

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said the risk of transmission to the community remained low, with the disease not easily spread between people.

She said further transmission of monkeypox would normally require direct skin-to-skin 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."

The health department reported this week there were 23 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Australia.

Of those, 16 were in NSW, six in Victoria and one in SA.

While the virus is endemic to parts of Africa, it has recently been detected in parts of the UK, Europe, North America and the Middle East.

Monkeypox was listed as a nationally notifiable disease for six months on June 1.

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