26 September 2023

Health gears up for Monkeypox outbreak

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Queensland Health says it is ready to respond to any cases of Monkeypox in the State following the World Health Organisation’s decision to declare the illness a public health emergency.

Chief Health Officer, Peter Aitken said clinicians were on alert for signs of Monkeypox symptoms, which included a distinctive rash, fever, headaches, body aches or swollen lymph nodes.

“Queensland Health is also liaising closely with its colleagues in other jurisdictions so it can respond accordingly,” Dr Aitken (pictured) said.

“The World Health Organisation’s decision to declare the Monkeypox outbreak as a public health emergency is a sensible precaution given what is occurring internationally.”

He said Monkeypox was a rare infection, but could be potentially serious for some sufferers.

“Queensland has recorded one case of Monkeypox to date, which was acquired overseas and posed a low threat to the community. However, we continue to see cases appear in other jurisdictions,” Dr Aitken said.

“While the public health risk to Queensland remains low at this stage, the community should be vigilant.”

He said most cases of Monkeypox would recover within one-to-two weeks, but severe disease could develop among a small percentage of individuals.

“As with all viruses and infections, Queenslanders should continue to practice preventative measures through good hygiene and symptom monitoring,” Dr Aitken said.

“This includes washing hands, monitoring for symptoms, and seeking medical attention if required.”

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