Indonesia raises alert as monkeypox cases increase to 14

JAKARTA: Indonesia is raising its alert as the number of confirmed monkeypox patients increased to 14 since the first case was detected on Oct. 13, according to the Health Ministry on Thursday, reported Xinhua.

The ministry's Director General for Disease Prevention and Control, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, said all the patients were men, lived in Jakarta, generally aged 25 to 29 years, and had never received smallpox vaccination.

"Some patients have comorbidities such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and hypertension," said Rondonuwu in a virtual press conference.

All the cases have mild symptoms, Rondonuwu added, but epidemiologists project the number could multiply to 3,600 a year without any intervention.

Currently, the ministry is intensifying education on healthy lifestyles and vaccination against monkeypox for high-risk groups. The government is targeting 500 people or 1,000 vaccination doses and so far, it has reached at least 157 people. -- BERNAMA-XINHUA

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