Taipei, June 30 (CNA) Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control on Thursday issued travel alerts for 44 countries that have reported monkeypox infections that were domestically transmitted or of unknown origin.
Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus and primarily occurs in central and west Africa, often in proximity to tropical rainforests.
Since May, however, 5,022 cases of the disease have been reported in 55 countries worldwide, with the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, and Portugal confirming the highest numbers as of June 29, the CDC said.
In 11 of those 55 countries, including Taiwan, only imported cases of the disease have been recorded to date, while in the other 44 counties there have been domestic cases and infections of unknown origin, the CDC said.
Taiwan has now issued a Level 2 travel health notice, the second-highest in its three-tier system, for the 44 countries, cautioning travelers to take enhanced precautions, the CDC said.
The 44 countries include the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, Israel, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Georgia, and Luxembourg, it said.
The others are the United States, Canada, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Ghana, Cameroon, Benin, the Republic of the Congo, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia.
On June 24, Taiwan reported its first and only case of monkeypox so far, involving a man who had returned from Germany.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion, followed by a rash a few days later, which turn into blisters, and they eventually form scabs and fall off.
The virus can be spread through close contact with an infected animal or person, and transmission occurs through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, body fluids, or materials contaminated with the virus, the CDC said.
The CDC had earlier advised people to avoid contact with animals such as rodents and primates when visiting places where the disease is spreading, and also to avoid contact with infected people.
Individuals who develop symptoms of the disease should seek medical attention as soon as possible and inform medical personnel of their travel and contact history, the CDC said.
(By Chiang Yi-ching)


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