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Taiwan reports first monkeypox case

2022-06-25
Focus Taiwan
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Skin lesions caused by the monkeypox virus. Photo: U.K. Health Security Agency
Skin lesions caused by the monkeypox virus. Photo: U.K. Health Security Agency

Taipei, June 24 (CNA) A man who recently returned from Germany has been diagnosed with monkeypox, in the first confirmed case of the viral disease in Taiwan, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Friday.

On June 20, four days after the man returned to Taiwan, he developed symptoms that including a fever, sore throat, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes in the groin, and a skin rash, the CDC said in a statement.

Over the next two days, he sought medical attention, and his case was reported to the CDC as a possible monkeypox infection. On Friday, his test came back positive for the disease, marking the first confirmed case of monkeypox in Taiwan, the CDC said.

The man, who had been studying in Germany, is now quarantined in hospital, and health authorities are conducting contact tracing, the CDC said.

So far, 19 people have been listed as close contacts, including 10 medical workers and two of the patient's relatives, and their health is being monitored, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsaing (莊人祥) told reporters Friday afternoon.

The CDC will notify the World Health Organization (WHO) of Taiwan's first recorded case of monkeypox, Chuang said.

On Thursday, the CDC officially designated monkeypox as a category 2 communicable disease, citing the global spread of the viral disease.

The designation means that physicians are now required to report confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox to the CDC within 24 hours.

Other category 2 communicable diseases in Taiwan include dengue fever, Zika fever, typhoid fever, measles, and Chikungunya.

The CDC also said Thursday that it had ruled out a suspected monkeypox case involving a man in his 60s, which was reported last week.

The disease is caused by the monkeypox virus, which can spread through close contact with an infected animal or person, and transmission occurs through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, body fluids, or materials contaminated with the virus.

Since the first reports of monkeypox infections in the United Kingdom in mid-May, at least 3,598 cases have been confirmed in 50 countries around the world, mostly in Europe and the Americas, according to the CDC.

Taiwan has become the third Asian country in which the disease has been confirmed, following Singapore and South Korea, the CDC said.

 

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