(LEAD) S.Korea reports first two suspected cases of monkeypox

황장진 / 2022-06-22 02:09:31
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(LEAD) monkeypox-suspected cases
▲ A notice regarding monkeypox stands at an arrival gate at Incheon International Airport., west of Seoul, on May 27. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

(LEAD) monkeypox-suspected cases

(LEAD) S.Korea reports first two suspected cases of monkeypox

(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 7-11, photo)

SEOUL, June 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has reported its first two suspected cases of monkeypox, public health officials said Wednesday.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said the two probable cases were found Tuesday and diagnostic tests are being conducted. Their identities are being withheld.

One of the individuals was admitted to Incheon Medical Center in Incheon, west of Seoul, at 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, hospital officials said.

The person reportedly showed potential symptoms of the infectious disease while entering the country via Incheon International Airport.

The hospital has two beds designated for monkeypox cases.

"The person is isolated as a suspected case and will undergo a test," a hospital official said, declining to give further details.

The virus, traditionally confined to regions in Central and Western Africa, can cause symptoms that include fever, chills, rash and lesions.

The country has been vigilant against a potential inflow of monkeypox as an increasing number of countries have reported cases of the viral disease and international travel has increased following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.

Health authorities have designated monkeypox as a second-degree infectious disease out of a four-tier system. Currently, 22 contagious diseases including COVID-19, cholera and chickenpox are included in the same category.

Officials said last week the government is seeking to import the antiviral drug tecovirimat for 500 people next month.

Monkeypox patients will be treated in isolation in specialized hospitals and a 21-day mandatory self-isolation period is being considered for those who have a high risk of transmission after being in close contact with monkeypox patients, health authorities said.

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