Monkeypox New Zealand: Doctors asked to watch out for signs of disease in returned travellers


The Health Ministry has confirmed no cases of monkeypox have yet arrived in the country, after two cases were recorded in Australia.

The Ministry of Health confirmed that no cases of Monkeypox have arrived New Zealand as of last night.

It said risk of importation of monkeypox to New Zealand is deemed to be low.

But if the virus crosses the border, contact and source tracing would be undertaken to limit further transmission.

Doctors have been asked to look out for signs and symptoms, specifically in returned travellers.

Cases of monkeypox are growing in the West in people who have not travelled to Africa - a phenomena previously not seen before.

Early hypotheses suggest the virus may be transmitted sexually.

Other theories question whether there is a new vulnerability as communities no longer immunise against smallpox.

Australian health authorities have detected two cases of the rare Monkeypox virus, in New South Wales and Victoria.

New South Wales chief health officer Kerry Chant says it isn't cause for panic but people should still remain vigilant for any potential symptoms of the virus.

"It starts off with fever, muscle aches and pains you can get those in large lymphnodes, heachaches, feeling tired and lethargic and then it can be follow by a rash one to three days longer, often the rash starts on the face."

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom now has 20 confirmed cases, while Portugal has 23.

France, Germany, Canada and Belgium have all confirmed their first cases of monkeypox.