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No domestic mpox cases reported in Taiwan in 14 weeks: CDC

02/20/2024 08:49 PM
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CDC Deputy Director General Lo Yi-chun speaks at a press conference Tuesday. CNA photo Feb. 20, 2024
CDC Deputy Director General Lo Yi-chun speaks at a press conference Tuesday. CNA photo Feb. 20, 2024

Taipei, Feb. 20 (CNA) Taiwan has not reported a new locally-transmitted mpox case over the past 14 weeks, meeting the epidemic elimination conditions established by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday.

The country's last case of domestic mpox was reported on Nov. 13 last year, CDC Deputy Director General Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said at a press event, citing the WHO, which regards a country as having eliminated mpox when a human case with onset symptoms has not been detected in the three previous months.

Taiwan is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to meet this condition, he said, indicating that South Korea was also close to doing so, having reported its last case at the end of November 2023.

In Southeast Asia as well as other countries in the region including Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand, cases of new domestic mpox infections have continued to be reported in recent months, the CDC official said.

Mpox, previously known as monkeypox, was designated a Category 2 communicable disease by Taiwan's CDC in June 2022.

It is an infectious viral disease that can be spread through close contact with an infected person or animal and typically results in symptoms such as fever, a rash and swollen lymph nodes.

Based on CDC data, as of Monday Taiwan has reported 360 mpox cases (340 transmitted locally and 20 abroad). The country reported its first domestic mpox case on Feb. 26 last year.

However, an imported case of the disease was recently reported in a Taiwanese national who returned from China at the end of January, marking the first mpox case reported in Taiwan this year, Lo said.

The CDC advises the public to remain vigilant when traveling abroad as the disease remains prominent in many other parts of the world, such as Europe and the Americas.

(By Tseng Yi-ning and Ko Lin)

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A CDC educational graphic on mpox. Source: CDC
A CDC educational graphic on mpox. Source: CDC
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