The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday designated monkeypox as a category 2 communicable disease, with cases being reported in 42 nations.
The designation means that physicians are required to report confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox to the agency within 24 hours, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said.
It also means people with the disease might be placed in isolation according to provisions of the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法).
Other category 2 communicable diseases in Taiwan include dengue fever, Zika fever, typhoid, measles and chikungunya fever.
Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus and primarily occurs in central and west Africa, often in proximity to tropical rainforests, the WHO said.
It 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, it said.
Multiple cases of the disease have been reported since last month in non-endemic countries.
As of Wednesday last week, the WHO had received reports of 2,103 laboratory-confirmed cases in 42 countries this year.
Singapore on Monday reported the first confirmed case of monkeypox in Southeast Asia, while South Korea recorded a case on Wednesday.
There have been no confirmed cases of the disease in Taiwan, although a possible case was reported last week, Chuang said on Wednesday.
The case, which was later ruled out as monkeypox, was a man in his 60s who had traveled to Europe for business late last month, Chuang said.
While in Europe, the man developed a cough and a runny nose, and tested positive for COVID-19 on June 1, Chuang said, adding that he began to develop blisters on the same day.
The man still had blisters and a rash when he returned to Taiwan on June 12 and was taken to a hospital as a precaution, Chuang said.
He was ruled out as a potential case of monkeypox after a tissue sample tested negative for the disease, Chuang said.
Monkeypox typically presents clinically with a fever, rashes and swollen lymph nodes, the CDC said, urging people who arrive in Taiwan to report any such symptoms to airport personnel and seek medical attention.
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