Third case of monkeypox confirmed in New Zealand

  • 02/08/2022

A third case of monkeypox has been confirmed in New Zealand. 

The infected person had recently arrived from overseas and is in isolation in Te Waipounamu/South Island, the Ministry of Health confirmed.

"There is no evidence of community transmission from this case," the ministry said in a statement. 

"Public health staff have assessed the risk of transmission from this case as low.

"A test has returned a positive result and ESR (Institute of Environmental Science and Research) is currently validating that result. This process is expected to be completed tomorrow afternoon."

The ministry said to protect the privacy of the person and their contacts no further statements will be made at this stage. 

New Zealand's first case of monkeypox was reported early in July. The person was in their 30s, lived in Auckland and had recently returned from overseas travel in a country with reported cases of monkeypox.

Public health advice

The first symptoms of monkeypox include:

  • headache
  • acute onset of fever (>38.0C)
  • chills
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • muscle and body aches
  • backache
  • tiredness

The characteristic rash, which typically looks similar to chicken pox, appears after a few days.

Cases of monkeypox outside countries where monkeypox is widely spread have mostly been identified amongst men who have sex with men, and international cases have been clustered around events where this occurs.

Anyone who's been overseas and attended events connected with the spread of monkeypox is asked to be aware of any symptoms and seek advice, either by contacting your GP or Healthline free on 0800 611 116, or get in touch with a sexual health clinic.

Health professionals are being reminded to remain vigilant for any possible cases of monkeypox, particularly in people who have recently arrived from countries reporting cases.

The health ministry has said the majority of people with monkeypox can be safely managed at home and there have been very few deaths from the disease globally.