Taiwan lists monkeypox as category 2 communicable disease

06/23/2022 04:14 PM
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Photo for illustrated purpose only. CNA file photo
Photo for illustrated purpose only. CNA file photo

Taipei, June 23 (CNA) Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Thursday officially designated monkeypox as a category 2 communicable disease, in light of the ongoing global outbreak.

The designation means that physicians are now required to report confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox to the CDC within 24 hours, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said.

It also means patients may be placed in isolation to receive treatment, if necessary, according to the Communicable Disease Control Act.

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

Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus and primarily occurs in central and west Africa, often in proximity to tropical rainforests, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The virus can be 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 May, multiple cases of the disease have been reported in non-endemic countries. As of June 15, the WHO had received reports of 2,103 laboratory confirmed cases in 42 countries this year.

Singapore reported the first confirmed case of monkeypox in Southeast Asia on Monday, while South Korea recorded a case on Wednesday.

Chuang told reporters Wednesday that there had been no confirmed cases of the disease in Taiwan, to date, though a suspected case was reported last week.

The case involved a man in his 60s who had traveled to Europe for business in late May, Chuang said. After the man developed a cough and runny nose, he tested positive for COVID-19 on June 1, and blisters also began to appear on his skin that day, according to Chuang.

The man still had blisters and a rash when he returned to Taiwan on June 12 and was taken to a hospital as a precaution. He was ruled out as a potential case of monkeypox after a tissue sample tested negative for the disease, Chuang said.

Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes, the CDC said, urging travelers arriving in Taiwan to report any such symptoms to airport personnel and seek medical attention.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

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