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Colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox virus particles. (NIAID image)
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday (July 12) announced its second case of monkeypox, a male in his 30s from northern Taiwan.
CECC Spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said the man has been placed in a negative pressure isolation ward. The case was isolated from other passengers at the airport, did not enter the local community, and officials have not indicated a need for contact tracing.
Chuang said the man had gone on a business trip to the U.S. from May to July of this year. On July 3, he began to develop swelling in his left testicle, a fever, and swollen lymph nodes in his groin and he went to the doctor on July 5 for antibiotics.
However, his condition did not improve, and he began to experience other symptoms such as skin rashes and diarrhea. When he returned to Taiwan on Sunday (July 10), he proactively informed airport authorities that he believed he could be suffering from monkeypox.
Airport quarantine personnel transported the man to a hospital to undergo medical treatment. After being evaluated by a doctor, he underwent a test for the virus. The man tested positive for monkeypox on Tuesday and is now in a hospital isolation ward.
Chuang said the ability for monkeypox to spread is limited because most cases are tied to close contact, unsafe sexual behavior, or medical staff caring for confirmed cases. He indicated the danger of spread from this particular case is low because he started isolation upon arrival and had not yet entered the community or come in contact with local residents.
The CECC spokesman said that upon arrival, the man only came into contact with airport quarantine personnel and medical staff, all of whom had been wearing proper protective equipment. He said that there were no other passengers believed to be sitting next to the case while on the plane, so no contacts had been listed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday announced that it would have a second emergency meeting next week to decide whether to declare monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern. According to the WHO, there are 9,200 cases in 63 countries, a 53% increase from the 6,000 reported on July 4.
Chuang said that as the international monkeypox epidemic gradually expands, the CECC will continue to strengthen its control measures at Taiwan's international airports and seaports, as well as to continue to keep the public informed of the risk and increase education on the disease. Chuang said the CECC will also negotiate with international pharmaceutical companies to purchase third-generation smallpox vaccines and antiviral drugs.
He said that Taiwan has issued a Level 2 Alert for 44 countries that pose a monkeypox community spread risk due to unknown infection sources. If Taiwanese travel to the countries on the list, they should avoid high-risk situations such as social activities that may involve close contact with strangers.
Chuang said that if people develop a fever, skin lesions such as a rash, pimples, blisters, or pustules, and other suspected symptoms when returning to the country, they should take the initiative to inform airline personnel and airport or seaport quarantine personnel and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. During the medical consultation, these travelers should inform the physician of their travel history and recent contacts.
Updated : 2022-07-19 19:36 GMT+08:00
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