With 15 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Singapore so far, the Government has been isolating all confirmed and suspected cases at isolation facilities to curb the spread.
However, with the new monkeypox SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), patients can opt to recover at home, amongst other conditions.
Mild and Self-Limiting Illness
The Ministry of Health shared that local and international data has revealed monkeypox to be a mild and self-limiting illness. Most patients typically recover within two to four weeks without hospitalisation.
The monkeypox virus can spread through bites and scratches or direct contact with skin, mucosa (mucous membrane), blood and bodily fluids. Since the transmission of this virus requires close or prolonged physical contact, the risk to the general public remains low.
Home Recovery Once Assessed To Be Clinically Stable
As of now, all confirmed cases that are assessed to be clinically stable will recover at a monkeypox isolation facility, equipped with telemedicine support.
Suspected cases who are clinically well also need to isolate themselves in the hospital while waiting for their test results.
However, after considering the mild and low-risk nature of the virus, all cases that are clinically stable will be able to recover and isolate themselves at home from 22 August.
All confirmed cases will receive an isolation order, much like COVID-19’s Stay Home Notice. Under the Infectious Diseases Act, they must remain isolated until medically assessed to be non-infectious. Patients on home recovery will have access to regular telemedicine consultations to determine that.
At the end of the isolation period, the patients will have to be reviewed at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. They can exit isolation if they are assessed to be fully recovered, while those who aren’t will continue to isolate themselves till the next review.
Conditions for Home Recovery
According to MOH, here are the conditions one needs to meet in order to recover at home:
- must be assessed to be clinically stable.
- should have access to a bedroom with an attached bathroom. Other household members should use a separate bathroom.
- do not have household members who are pregnant, below 12 years old, above 80 years old, undergoing dialysis, have weakened immune systems, on immunosuppressants, or generally at a higher risk of getting infected.
- no pets in the patient’s home to avoid animal-to-human transmission.
If the patient’s home is not suitable for home recovery, they may continue to recover in the monkeypox isolation facility. The same applies to the isolation of suspected cases.
If the patient or the suspected case is assessed to be not clinically stable and requires clinical care, they will be managed in hospitals. Those assessed to be at higher risk of complications will also stay in hospitals.
How To Avoid Getting Infected
MOH has encouraged the public to exercise personal responsibility, through:
- avoiding close contact with individuals known/suspected to be infected with monkeypox
- monitoring your personal health
- maintaining good hygiene
- avoiding high-risk sexual activity, e.g. having multiple sexual partners, or engaging in casual sex during travel
MOH will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust their measures accordingly.
You can watch this video to know more about monkeypox in Singapore:
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