Suspected case of monkeypox identified in the Maldives

A suspected case of monkeypox has been identified in the Maldives.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said it received information that a suspected case had been identified, and the agency is looking into the matter. HPA said the case could be determined as a suspected case of monkeypox after further evaluation and that assessment is necessary to conclude that it is a monkeypox case.

The patient, a foreigner, is currently being quarantined at Treetop Hospital.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Earlier this month, HPA said it is likely that the disease would reach the Maldives.

In a statement released on July 24, HPA said the likelihood that monkeypox would reach the Maldives is present. However, compared to diseases such as COVID-19, monkeypox is more likely to spread to people who live together in close proximity.

HPA instructed to see a health worker if any symptoms of monkeypox are identified. Those with symptoms must avoid contact with others immediately until a diagnosis is confirmed.

The HPA has also asked the public to take precautions despite the low risk of spreading the disease in the community. They are advised to wash their hands frequently, wear masks and avoid crowded places.

Monkeypox has been reported in 72 countries. More than 14,000 people have been infected thus far.