Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands, (ANTARA) - Tanjungpinang Health, Birth Control, and Family Planning Office is offering an isolation room at Raja Ahmad Thabib Hospital for monkeypox virus patients as a precautionary measure to fight its spread, a local government official stated.

Hence, the Tanjungpinang health authorities had established coordination with their colleagues in the Riau Islands provincial government to select Raja Ahmad Thabib Hospital, Rustam stated on Thursday.

All concerned agencies should also intensify their prevention and detection mechanism at Sri Bintan Pura Port, Rustam, head of the Tanjungpinang Health, Birth Control, and Family Planning Office, remarked.

Steps to increase prevention and identification system at the seaport was deemed necessary, as it was the main entry gate for the arrival and departure of Singaporean and Malaysian visitors to Tanjungpinang, he pointed out.

"Singapore has recently confirmed a reported case of monkeypox virus. The city state is located in proximity to Tanjungpinang," he remarked.

Hence, in spite of local health centers, hospitals, and community members reporting no cases of monkeypox in Tanjungpinang, all parties must stay alert, Rustam pointed out.

According to the United Nations World Health Organization's (WHO's) fact sheet, monkeypox as a rare viral zoonosis, or a virus spread to humans from animals, that is found chiefly in the remote areas of central and west Africa, near tropical rainforests.

The monkeypox virus causes a viral disease with symptoms in humans similar but milder to those seen in smallpox patients. Nonetheless, monkeypox can be potentially deadly.

Monkeypox virus belongs to the orthopoxvirus genus in the family poxviridae and largely spread from various wild animals, such as rodents and primates, to people, but has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.

No particular treatment or vaccination is presently available, though prior smallpox inoculation was found to be increasingly effective in also preventing monkeypox.

According to the WHO, monkeypox was first detected in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, earlier known as Zaire, in a nine-year-old boy in a region where smallpox had been eradicated in 1968.

Thereafter, most cases were reported in rural and rainforest regions of the Congo Basin and western Africa, specifically in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is viewed as being endemic.

Translator: Ogen, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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