The Chinese mainland has reported its first monkeypox case, after an inbound traveler to the southwestern municipality of Chongqing tested positive for the virus yesterday, Friday, September 16.
The patient showed suspicious symptoms, including rashes, while being quarantined for COVID-19 screening, and is now receiving treatment at a designated hospital.
All close contacts have been tracked down and isolated for medical observation.
Monkeypox has been appearing on the periphery of the Chinese mainland for a while now. On June 24, Taipei reported a case imported from Germany.
READ MORE: Monkeypox is Getting Closer...
Hong Kong’s first case of monkeypox was confirmed on September 6; the infected individual had entered the Special Administrative Region on a flight from the Philippines.
Rumors were rife in an online chat group that a case had been discovered in the Qiantan area of Shanghai on August 16. However, authorities later confirmed that it was just that – a rumor.
Experts had warned that it was only a matter of time before China would detect monkeypox cases on the mainland.
However, with limited routes of access and speed of transmission – coupled with fast and efficient detection and isolation due to China's strict COVID-19 policy – they have reassured the public that the virus is unlikely to cause major outbreaks.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare 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, the World Health Organization declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of global concern.
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[Cover image via Pixabay]