British Airways cabin crew forced to quarantine in Singapore after monkeypox infection

2d ago

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Two British Airways pilots and nine cabin crew have been forced to quarantine in Singapore after a member of the team reportedly tested positive for monkeypox.

The BA staff were working on a Sydney to London service that had touched down in Singapore on Sunday evening, where the crew had planned to spend 24hrs before continuing on to the U.K.

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However, it’s believed that ahead of the return leg health officials detected one of the staff was infected with the virus and immediately informed the 11-strong crew that they must spend 21 days in isolation.

Singapore at dusk (Photo by Seng Chye Teo / Gettys)

There’s no word as yet on how many passengers were onboard the flight into Singapore, but a BA spokesperson told the Daily Mail that the risk to passengers on the flight was very low.

“We’re working closely with the Singapore Health Authorities and have offered assistance with any information they require,” the spokesperson added. “We’re in contact with our crew and providing the necessary support.”

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The news coincides with a statement from Singapore officials on Tuesday that they had detected the first monkeypox case in Southeast Asia of 2022. The health ministry said that the patient, who tested positive on 20 June, was a British man who works as a flight attendant.

While people are most at risk of picking up monkeypox in West and Central African countries, a current global outbreak of the zoonotic infection has seen multiple cases across countries that don’t normally see them.

The U.K., for instance, has had more infections than any other country impacted by the recent spread of the virus. As of 16 June, there were 574 cases of monkeypox across England, Scotland and Wales — a huge rise when you consider that between 2018 and 2021, there were only 7 cases of monkeypox reported domestically.

As of 8 June 2022, all medics in England have been told by law that they must notify their local council or Health Protection Team if they suspect a person is infected with monkeypox.

Initial symptoms of monkeypox range from a high temperature, headache, muscle soreness, back pains, chills, and tiredness. After one to five days a rash usually appears on the face before spreading to other parts of the body.

The rash can lead to small blisters filled with fluid, although the symptoms can clear up in a few weeks. Monkeypox is usually mild and most people recover within a few weeks without treatment, say the NHS. Death rates are very low but children are at higher risk.

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“Anyone can get monkeypox,” according to Gov.uk, “particularly if you have had close contact, including sexual contact, with an individual with symptoms.”

You can read more about the outbreak on the World Health Organisation’s website here.

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