Western Australia has recorded its first case of monkeypox after a returned overseas traveller reported they had the disease on Thursday.
The person is isolating and remained well, WA Health said. The department was monitoring their condition and had begun contact tracing.
The department said it would receive a limited supply of vaccines for the disease within the coming days, which would be prioritised for the highest-risk groups, and was working on plans for a rollout of the vaccine.
Communicable Disease Control Directorate director Dr Paul Armstrong said returned travellers, especially those who had visited areas with high numbers of monkeypox cases, should remain vigilant for symptoms.
“Monkeypox is spread to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, either by direct contact with open lesions or prolonged face-to-face contact, or with material contaminated with the virus,” he said.
“A person with monkeypox can transmit the infection to other people through skin lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
“The initial symptoms of the illness may include flu-like symptoms such as fever or headache. A rash typically develops that appears as bumps, pimples or sores, and develops into fluid-filled lesions, pustules or ulcers. The rash can be widespread or localised to one area.”
Armstrong said while the overseas outbreak had disproportionately impacted men who have sex with men, anyone who has had close contact with a person with monkeypox should self-monitor.