China has reported four cases of monkeypox in the last week.
First, Beijing reported two cases last Tuesday, June 6, making it the second city on the Chinese mainland to confirm a human infection, after a traveler to the southwestern municipality of Chongqing tested positive for the virus last September .
One of the Beijing cases was imported from overseas, while the other was related to that imported case, according to the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Both cases were a result of "intimate contact," according to the Center.
The two cases are in stable condition after being isolated in a designated hospital.
Then, on Saturday, June 10, Guangzhou reported two cases, raising concerns about the spread of the contagious disease.
The infected individuals, a 43-year-old male and 29-year-old male, were identified through disease surveillance measures conducted by local authorities.
Upon further investigation, laboratory tests confirmed the presence of monkeypox virus nucleic acid in both cases.
Announcement made by the Guangzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In order to prevent any potential transmission, the confirmed cases were promptly isolated and are currently receiving treatment at designated hospitals.
Fortunately, their symptoms have been identified as relatively mild, providing hope for a smooth recovery.
The emergence of the cases in China comes amidst a global surge in monkeypox incidents.
According to the latest report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 111 member countries across all six WHO regions have reported 87,929 laboratory-confirmed cases since January 1, 2022.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that has origins in parts of West and Central Africa. The virus is similar to smallpox, although significantly less deadly, and lasts between two to four weeks.
Blisters that eventually scab
The disease can be transmitted through close contact with an infected animal or person, direct contact with the rash, scabs or bodily fluids, or recently contaminated objects.
The World Health Organization notes that most cases have been identified via "sexual health or other health services in primary or secondary health-care facilities."
The incubation period for the monkeypox virus ranges from five to 21 days.
The infection was first documented in the 1970s, and has largely remained confined to the African region.
However, monkeypox cases were detected in Europe in May of 2022, and the virus subsequently spread around the world.
On July 23, 2022, the World Health Organization declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of global concern.
[Cover image via Pixabay]