Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The Health Ministry on Friday announced that Indonesia has not identified any case of monkeypox, a transmissible disease that causes rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
"No cases [of monkeypox] have been detected so far in Indonesia," the ministry's spokesman Mohammad Syahril told a virtual press briefing on Friday.
Indonesia previously suspected nine people of having monkeypox, according to Syahril. Seven of the suspects tested negative for orthopoxvirus, a genus which monkeypox belongs to. One case turned out to be a bullous pemphigoid, a rare skin condition that also causes large, fluid-filled blisters.
Last but not least was a suspected case of monkeypox in Singkawang, West Kalimantan, who was later revealed to have caught varicella.
"The suspect in Singkawang was confirmed to have varicella or chickenpox," Syahril said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is mulling over declaring monkeypox a global health emergency. The global tally of confirmed monkeypox infections has reached at least 3,335 cases, most of which came from the United Kingdom. Close neighbor Singapore earlier this week confirmed one imported case of monkeypox.
"We will monitor the global [monkeypox] updates," Syahril said, while adding that the government at present is preparing the detailed guidelines for lab testing.
Monkeypox can spread by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets. Monkeypox is a self-limiting disease, meaning that its symptoms will go away on its own. Symptoms usually last from two to four weeks.
The government has prepared two labs to detect monkeypox, namely at the Primate Research Center in Bogor and the Prof. Sri Oemiyati Infectious Disease Research Laboratory in Jakarta, according to Syahril.