Two men in their 30s and 40s returned to Australia from Europe and contracted a disease called monkeypox, characterized by a rash and now isolated from a rare virus.
MonkeyPix: The UK health agency is urging people to keep an eye on their symptoms
Australia recently reported the first case of monkeypox from someone who had traveled from the UK.
A second case of the virus has been confirmed in a man from New South Wales who recently returned to the country from Europe.
Both men, in their 30s and 40s, are showing mild symptoms but those who are clinically compatible with monkeypox, health officials said.
The 30-year-old arrived in Melbourne on Monday, when a second case was discovered in Sydney between a man in his 40s, the Victoria State Department of Health said.
Dr Kerry Chant, chief health officer for the state of New South Wales, said a preliminary test of the Sydney man had returned positive and subsequent tests had confirmed the case.
He said: “Just to reassure the community that this is not the same process of spreading as Kovid or Flu where it is more volatile.”
The Victoria Health Board said Friday: “Tests have confirmed he has the virus and he is isolated in Alfred with mild symptoms.”
Monkeypox is commonly found in central and western Africa, often near tropical rainforests, and is thought to be endemic to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it was first discovered in the 1970s.
However, in recent weeks it has been detected in a number of non-native countries, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Canada, and the United States.
According to the UK Health Agency, symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and chills.
The UKHSA says: “A rash can form, often starting in the mouth and then spreading to other parts of the body, including the genitals.
“The rash changes and goes into different stages and can eventually look like chickenpox or syphilis before creating a scab that falls off later.”
The monkeypox virus is spread through prolonged personal contact with infected people, often through large respiratory tract infections.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said state health officials were closely monitoring the situation but believed it was “much less contagious” than Covid and “something of that nature”.
He continued: “We should take this seriously [but] at the same time, I want to say that no one should be alarmed at this moment. We have the best health authorities in the world. ”
The state’s chief health officer, Professor Brett Sutton, said the death rate ranged from 1 percent to 5 percent.
Canada also reported the first two confirmed cases of monkeypox on Thursday night, with 17 more cases being investigated in Montreal.
A Sydney man and a family acquaintance are both separated at home.