S.Korea reports 1st possible community transmission of mpox

South Korea's first case of mpox was confirmed June 22 last year, and the fifth case was reported on March 13.

Seoul: Health authorities reported the nation’s first possible case of community transmission of mpox on Saturday, bringing the total number of infections to six.

The infected individual, a South Korean national with no recent overseas travel history, tested positive for the disease the previous day, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The person visited a hospital Monday with a skin rash and was reported to health authorities as a suspected case of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, reports Yonhap news agency.

Unlike the previous five cases in the country, which were linked to overseas travel, the latest patient had not traveled abroad within the past three months, the KDCA said.

The individual also had no known contact with an infected person, it added.

The individual had been experiencing symptoms since the end of March and had been in contact with others for several days.

Also Read: WHO has recommended monkeypox virus be renamed “mpox” to avoid stigma

The patient is currently hospitalized and is in good health, the KDCA said. The agency did not give further details about the individual.

“A thorough epidemiological investigation is currently ongoing, and we will release necessary information as soon as it is ready,” a KDCA official said.

The official noted that compared with respiratory infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 and the flu, the risk of transmission of mpox in the general population is relatively low unless one has had close contact with a confirmed case.

The virus, which is traditionally confined to regions in Central and Western Africa, can cause a fever, chills, rashes and lesions, among other symptoms.

South Korea’s first case of mpox was confirmed June 22 last year, and the fifth case was reported on March 13.


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