Monkeypox: First case confirmed in the Republic

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the monkeypox case was detected by health authorities on Friday.
Monkeypox: First case confirmed in the Republic

Tomas Doherty

The first case of monkeypox has been identified in the Republic.

The infection was reported in the east of the country on Friday night and the person affected was not kept in hospital.

A further suspected case is also being investigated.

A statement from the HSE said: “The Health Protection Surveillance Centre was notified last night of a confirmed case of monkeypox in Ireland, in the east of the country.

“This person has not been hospitalised. This was not unexpected following the presence of monkeypox cases in the UK and many European countries.

“Public Health is following up those who had close contact with the person with monkeypox while they were infectious. In order to maintain patient confidentiality, no further information about this person will be provided.

“A suspected case is also being investigated and test results are awaited.

“A public health risk assessment has been undertaken and those who were in contact with the person are being advised on what to do in the event that they become ill.”

It comes after health officials in the North confirmed a monkeypox case in the region on Thursday.

Monkeypox, which mostly occurs in west and central Africa, is a viral infection that was first recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s. Symptoms include fever, headaches and skin rashes starting on the face and spreading to the rest of the body.

The current outbreak in countries where it is not endemic is highly unusual, according to scientists. More than 200 confirmed or suspected cases have been reported.

World Health Organization (WHO) officials have expressed concern that more infections could arise as people gather for festivals, parties and holidays during the coming summer months in Europe and elsewhere.

Vaccines

Meanwhile, the State has secured an order of vaccines against monkeypox, with HSE chief Paul Reid confirming a delivery will be made “very shortly”.

Mr Reid said the HSE will consider vaccinating healthcare workers, but will take advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) on the matter.

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