Despite monkeypox cases detected in 42 countries, there have been no cases reported in Brunei.  The Minister of Health, Dato Seri Setia Dr haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar and Public Health Consultant Dr. Justin Wong gave this update at the weekly Ministry of Health (MoH) press conference. Putting concerns to rest, the minister mentioned that authorities have been vigilant and are constantly monitoring clinics and working out arrangements to identify and treat patients with symptoms of monkeypox. Processes are also being streamlined and set up for frontline doctors to contact Dr. Wong’s team for examination and treatment.

Informing the public on what to look out for, Dr. Wong said that the common symptoms of this infection are fever, skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, and muscle pain. The symptoms are like chickenpox and shingles, and in most cases, the symptoms pass off in two to four weeks. The disease usually transmits through physical contact and transmissions in non-endemic countries are traced to the West African clade of monkeypox virus.

In most monkeypox cases specific treatment is not required, the symptoms are managed with pain relief medication and support to help with skin infections caused by bacteria, elaborated Infectious Diseases Consultant, Dr. Hajah Riamiza Natalie Binti Haji Momin. She also added that an anti-viral treatment will be administered to high-risk patients and those with complications. She urged the public to be informed of the symptoms and stay vigilant while following regular updates from dependable sources.

In addition, Dr. Wong explained that the MoH has drawn up a detailed plan to prevent and manage monkeypox infections in Brunei. This will include Inspection, investigation, and contact tracing. Those showing symptoms can get themselves tested and treated at the National isolation Centre (NIC) in Tutong District. Laboratory tests for monkeypox are conducted using the RT-PCR method of testing.

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