WA Health is urging West Australians to be mindful of the recent emergence of monkey pox, the rare viral infection being detected in the eastern states.
While no cases of the virus have been reported in WA, the Department of Health is monitoring one probable case of monkeypox in NSW and other one identified in Victoria after both cases returned from overseas.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that is usually linked to travel to Central or West Africa, but has been identified in other locations in recent weeks, including several European countries and the United States.
The spread of the virus is being monitored by the World Health Organisation.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Paul Armstrong said WA Health had issued an alert to clinicians at GPs and hospitals across the State.
“There have been no cases detected in Western Australia so far, but we are asking clinicians to be vigilant and watch for signs of the virus,” Dr Armstrong said.
“Monkeypox is spread to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.
“Many of the recently recorded cases have occurred in men who have sex with men.
“The virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
The initial symptoms of the illness include fever, headache, and sometimes sore throat, cough, and enlarged lymph nodes.
A rash then develops which can be widespread or localised to a specific part of the body.
Anyone with concerns of infection with monkeypox virus should get medical advice from a GP or sexual health clinic.