Jakarta – Indonesia has recorded its first case of monkeypox in a 27-year-old man who returned from traveling overseas, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.
The World Health Organization last month designated the outbreak of the virus an emergency, something it reserves for diseases of highest concern, like COVID-19.
Health Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Syahril said the patient had a "high awareness and knowledge of the disease".
"So when he got the symptoms, he immediately checked [with] the doctor. The result came [back] positive within a day," he told reporters, adding that the man was now in isolation in Jakarta.
Symptoms of monkeypox include lesions, fever, muscle ache and chills. It has been fatal only in rare cases.
The man arrived in Indonesia on Aug. 8 and developed fever and rashes a week later. Syahril declined to identify the country from where the man had returned.
Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Singapore has confirmed more than a dozen cases, and the Philippines and Thailand have also recorded their first cases.
The United States has recorded thousands of cases.
In contrast to previous outbreaks in Africa, where the disease is endemic in its central and western regions, the virus is now being predominantly spread from intimate contact, though it is not a sexually transmitted disease.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says other routes are also possible, including sharing bedding, clothing and prolonged face-to-face contact.
The WHO on Wednesday called for people infected with monkeypox to avoid exposing animals to the virus, following the first reported case of human-to-dog transmission.