South Korea reports first confirmed monkeypox case, steps up monitoring

By Joori Roh

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea on Wednesday confirmed its first case of monkeypox virus and pledged to strengthen monitoring and response programs because it raised the alert degree to “warning” for the infectious illness.

A Korean citizen, who’s receiving therapy on the Incheon Medical Heart after exhibiting signs whereas coming into the nation from Germany on Tuesday afternoon, has examined optimistic, the Korea Illness Management and Prevention Company (KDCA) mentioned. It didn’t present particulars of the person.

The company raised the alert degree for the infectious illness to “warning”, the second of the nation’s 4 ranges, upon affirmation of the virus case.

It mentioned it is going to step up monitoring by designating areas that require strengthened quarantine administration, primarily amongst individuals from international locations the place monkeypox happens steadily.

“The KDCA has been pushing for utilising secured (monkeypox) vaccines and coverings … and extra introduction of these, whereas the company is repeatedly increasing its diagnostic testing capabilities,” KDCA Commissioner Peck Kyong-ran mentioned.

“Amongst those that have been uncovered (to monkeypox virus) via bodily contact with confirmed sufferers, these with medium or excessive dangers will obtain vaccination below their consent,” Peck mentioned.

The nation, nevertheless, shouldn’t be at present reviewing ring vaccination for monkeypox, she added.

Earlier on Wednesday, KDCA reported two suspected circumstances of monkeypox virus, however the different case, a overseas nationwide who entered the nation on Monday after exhibiting signs of blisters and sore throat, examined adverse. The company mentioned this affected person was identified with one other illness with out giving particulars.

Individually on Wednesday, President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered well being authority to “step up quarantine administration of overseas entrants at airports … and to be totally ready to distribute vaccines and coverings to the medical subject.”

Yoon additionally ordered to swiftly full the introduction of third-generation vaccines and antiviral medicine for monkeypox.

Earlier in June, South Korea designated monkeypox as a second-degree infectious illness, in line with its four-tier system, with 22 contagious ailments together with COVID-19, cholera and chickenpox being included in the identical class.

(Reporting by Joori Roh; modifying by Richard Pullin and Michael Perry)

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