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Taiwan reports 2 domestic mpox cases

02/27/2024 09:23 PM
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mpox photo courtesy of CDC
mpox photo courtesy of CDC

Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) Taiwan reported two locally transmitted cases of mpox on Tuesday, following 14 weeks without logging any local cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

CDC official Kuo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said at a weekly press briefing that both cases were Taiwanese men in their 30s who developed rashes and blisters in mid-February.

Kuo said that the two men tested positive for mpox on Feb. 23 and Feb. 26, bringing the total number of cases reported this year to three, including one imported case.

CDC Deputy Director-General Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said that both cases were classified as domestic because neither man had recently traveled. Both are currently undergoing a 21-day self-monitoring period at home.

Lo added that one of the men was from central Taiwan and had only received one vaccine dose last May. Four of his family members who live with him have been listed as close contacts.

Meanwhile, the other man was from southern Taiwan and has three close contacts. He had not been vaccinated.

Lo noted that locally transmitted cases may surge because many countries are experiencing mpox outbreaks.

He said that Taiwan currently has 5,200 bottles of mpox vaccine, which can cover around 18,000 people. However, because there could be an outbreak this year, the CDC has purchased an additional 20,000 bottles of vaccine, which can inoculate 70,000 people.

Those vaccines are expected to arrive around late March, Lo added.

The CDC previously said that Taiwan reported its most recent domestic mpox case on Nov. 13, meaning that it had not logged any local cases for 14 weeks and had become the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to meet epidemic elimination regulations.

However, given the two new cases, the CDC urged members of the public to stay cautious and avoid risky areas.

According to CDC data, Taiwan has reported 362 cases of mpox (342 locally transmitted and 20 abroad) as of Tuesday. The country reported its first domestic mpox case on Feb. 26 last year.

(By Tzeng Yi-ning and Evelyn Yang)

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