Stop spreading fake news on monkeypox in Malaysia

Peka B40: 6,000 patients have undergone health screening

The Health Ministry has rubbished claims that monkeypox cases have been detected in Johor and Kuala Lumpur.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a statement, said there has been no reported case of monkeypox in Malaysia to date.

He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had reported a recent monkeypox case in Singapore, involving a Nigerian national who had arrived in the republic on April 28. The man was tested positive for monkeypox on May 8.

"This was the first case reported in Asia. The Singaporean health authorities have undertaken precautionary measures and strict control to reduce the risk of the disease spreading, including quarantining 23 people who had close contact with the patient.

"The Singapore Health Ministry reported that there were no Malaysians among those quarantined," he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry would continue monitoring the latest information from the WHO on monkeypox.

"Healthcare providers have been advised to be vigilant for any potential monkeypox case in Malaysia.

"The ministry also wishes to advise visitors who are travelling to places with reported monkeypox cases such as central and west African countries to be extra careful, including maintaining good hygiene practices such as washing one's hands as frequent as possible after a visit to the toilet or when hands become dirty.

"One should avoid touching the wounds of those infected, either human beings or animals, or contaminated items such as patients' soiled clothes.

"Also, one should not touch wild animals or eat their meat. Those who show symptoms within three weeks after leaving the said countries must seek immediate medical treatment and inform the doctors of their travel history."

Dr Noor Hisham reiterated that Malaysia had no monkeypox case and reminded the public to stop spreading fake news which could cause unease among the people.

"The ministry has also issued notification letter to healthcare facilities on general information of handling (possible) case (of monkeypox), as well as Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) on monkeypox infection for public reference.

"The FAQ can be accessed via"

The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) of monkeypox is reported to be usually from six to 16 days but can range from five to 21 days.

Infection symptoms include fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph node), back pain, myalgia (muscle ache), an intense asthenia (lack of energy); various stages of rash appear often beginning on the face and then spreading elsewhere on the body.

The WHO on its website said sporadic cases of monkeypox had been reported from west and central African countries, and with increasing awareness more countries are identifying and reporting cases.

It added since 1970 human cases of monkeypox have been reported from 10 African countries – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gabon and South Sudan.

"In 2017 Nigeria experienced the largest documented outbreak, approximately 40 years since the country had last confirmed cases of monkeypox," it said.

 APHM 2019


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