Yonhap news agency reported that South Korea recorded the first two suspected cases of monkeypox in the country on June 21, and Southeast Asia had the first case – a flight attendant who regularly flies in and out of Singapore.
Yonhap quoted a source from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as saying that one of the two suspected cases showing many symptoms of the disease upon entry at Incheon International Airport was taken to Incheon Medical Center for various diagnostic tests.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health declined to comment. Earlier this month, South Korea classified monkeypox as a level 2 infectious disease, in a 4-level system, with 22 dangerous diseases such as Covid-19, cholera and monkeypox at the same level.
South Korea says diagnostic tests are underway for suspected cases. Photo: Reuters
In Europe, health authorities said on June 21 that France had detected 277 cases of monkeypox. The number of cases has increased sharply from 183 cases recorded 5 days earlier. But there have been no deaths from monkeypox in France yet. Most of the cases recorded in France have been detected in the capital Paris and surrounding suburbs. The first case is a woman and the rest are men.
Early symptoms of monkeypox include high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a chickenpox-like rash. The virus usually goes away after two or 3 weeks.
The first case of monkeypox in France was detected on May 20, the same day the first case was detected in Germany.
Until recently, monkeypox was present only in West and Central Africa but has now appeared on several continents. Singapore’s Ministry of Health on June 21 confirmed an imported case of monkeypox. This is the first case of monkeypox detected in the lion island nation in the past three years.
The patient is a British man, 42 years old, and tested positive for monkeypox virus on June 20. This person works as a flight attendant and has flights to and from Singapore in mid-June. The patient’s health condition is stable and is being treated at the National Center for Infectious Diseases in Singapore.
To date, monkeypox outbreaks have occurred in about 40 countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) will hold an emergency meeting on June 23 to determine whether the global monkeypox outbreak should be classified as a public health emergency of international concern or not.