HSE confirms first case of monkeypox in Ireland

HSE confirms first case of monkeypox in Ireland

THE HSE has confirmed Ireland's first case of monkeypox, while another suspected case is being investigated.

The HSE's Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), which monitors communicable diseases, said the confirmed case was identified in the east of the county.

However, they said the development was 'not unexpected' following more than 200 confirmed cases around the world recently.

'Not hospitalised'

"HPSC was notified last night (Friday 27/5/22) of a confirmed case of monkeypox in Ireland, in the east of the country," read a statement.

"This person has not been hospitalised.

"This was not unexpected following the presence of monkeypox cases in the UK and many European countries.

"Public Health is following up those who had close contact with the person with monkeypox while they were infectious.

"In order to maintain patient confidentiality, no further information about this person will be provided.

"A suspected case is also being investigated and test results are awaited.

"A public health risk assessment has been undertaken, and those who were in contact with the person are being advised on what to do in the event that they become ill."

Notifiable disease

A multidisciplinary Incident Management Team has been established by the HSE to manage cases in Ireland.

The virus has also been made a notifiable disease, meaning medical practitioners are required to notify the health authorities of any monkeypox cases identified in Ireland.

The case in Ireland comes after the reporting of more than 200 other confirmed cases worldwide over recent weeks, including from Britain, Europe, North America, Israel, United Arab Emirates and Australia.

On Thursday, the first case of monkeypox in Northern Ireland was confirmed.

The HSE added that the current outbreak is unusual in that most of the cases do not have a travel link to parts of Africa where the virus is endemic.

The current outbreak has been caused by the milder West African monkeypox strain.

Most people recover within weeks, although severe illness can occur in people with very weak immune systems, pregnant women and in very small babies.