Western Australia confirmed its first case of monkeypox from an overseas traveler who returned home to Perth on Thursday.
The State Department of Health confirmed that the person is in isolation and has no severe symptoms. Public health officials have initiated contact tracing.
Director of Communicable Disease Control Directorate Paul Armstrong said travelers returning from high-risk areas should remain cautious.
“Monkeypox spreads to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, either by direct contact with open lesions or by prolonged face-to-face contact, or with material contaminated with the virus,” said Dr. Armstrong .
“A person with monkeypox can transmit the infection to other people through skin lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.”
There are now 54 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Australia.
This includes 30 in New South Wales, 19 in Victoria, 2 in the Australian Capital Territory, 1 in Queensland and 1 in South Australia.
Most recent cases of monkeypox in Australia have been contracted overseas.
Health experts say the spread of the disease – which is less communicable than Covid – can be effectively controlled through isolation measures.
Transmission of the disease usually requires direct skin-to-skin contact or prolonged face-to-face contact with an infected person.
Symptoms may initially include fever, chills, body aches, back pain, and swollen lymph nodes.
Later, sufferers develop a rash that can appear all over the body as small sores.
Most people with Monkeypox do not require treatment and recover completely from the disease within a couple of weeks.
The disease is endemic in 11 African nations, where the death rate is between three and six percent.
An ongoing global outbreak of the virus has now spread to the UK, Europe, North America, the Middle East and other areas, many of which are registering their first cases of the disease.
Originally published as Western Australia confirms the case of monkeypox