JAKARTA – A man in Indonesia has tested positive for monkeypox, making it the first confirmed case of the disease in the country, officials said Saturday night.
The 27-year-old who lives in the capital Jakarta had returned from a trip abroad on August 8, Health Ministry spokesman Mohammad Syahril told a news conference. The man began experiencing symptoms five days later and went to see a doctor. He tested positive for monkeypox on Friday night and is now isolated at home, Syahril said.
“This is a self-limited disease that will go away after 20 days if the patient does not have any pre-existing conditions,” Syahril said, adding that the government for now did not see the need to implement community-level restrictions to contain monkeypox.
Indonesia, a vast archipelago nation with more than 270 million people, has been on alert for the spread of monkeypox since the World Health Organization called on countries to increase their vigilance after the UK experienced a outbreak in May. Before that, the monkeypox virus was only endemic in several African countries.
Monkeypox is spread when people have close physical contact with the lesions, clothing, or bedding of an infected person. Sexual contact can amplify transmission.
Most people recover from monkeypox without treatment, but the lesions can be extremely painful. The most severe cases can lead to complications, including brain swelling and death.
Globally, more than 31,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in nearly 90 countries. Last month, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global emergency.
Monkeypox is not an entirely new disease, but it has been known since at least the 1970s and has been a serious challenge in Africa for years.
With only a limited global supply of vaccine, authorities are racing to stop the spread of the disease.