PUTRAJAYA: The health ministry was notified about nine suspected monkeypox cases but all of them were confirmed to be negative.
Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin said they had reminded all concerned to be aware of the current monkeypox situation and increase detection among patients at risk.
This follows the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the monkeypox infection is now a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”, he said.
He said non-Malaysian travellers should fill in the traveller’s card in the MySejahtera application, and travellers arriving from countries with reports of monkeypox would receive pop-up health messages every day through the app to remind them to monitor monkeypox infection symptoms and health status.
“Travellers arriving from other countries are advised to monitor their personal health status every day, including for symptoms of monkeypox infection for a period of 21 days from the date of arrival in Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.
Symptoms of monkeypox are fever, fatigue, maculopapular rash that starts on the face and then spreads to the palms and soles followed by other parts of the body, muscle spasms and swollen lymph nodes.
Khairy said from May 1 till July 23, a total of 531,630 travellers were recorded to have arrived from countries that reported cases of monkeypox and the MySejahtera app had issued a monkeypox health alert to all travellers.
He said operators of premises which provide services that involved skin contact with customers, such as spas and massages, should exercise personal and environmental hygiene.
The monkeypox virus can be spread through direct contact with a rash or lesion that occurs on the skin, he added.
Khairy said the ministry had also increased the capacity of laboratories from two to 12 to conduct monkeypox virus detection tests. Eight are government laboratories.
The ministry had also increased surveillance at the country’s international entry points, Khairy added.
The monkeypox case was first reported by the WHO on May 15 this year.