June 01, 2022 11:05
The Korean government is tightening precautions against monkeypox by classifying it as a second-grade epidemic like measles.
Endemic in West and Central Africa, the disease is spreading worldwide by very close contact such as sex, especially among men.
Its origins have been traced to the consumption of monkey and rodent cadavers, said Aimee Alongo, the chief of health in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Sankuru Province. "The residents enter the forest, pick up the corpses of monkeys, bats and rodents which are the reservoirs of monkeypox."
In Europe the disease is already spreading rapidly. The World Health Organization had received reports of 257 confirmed monkeypox cases in 23 countries where the virus is not endemic.
But in meeting on Tuesday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency decided to designate monkeypox as only a second-grade epidemic, which requires that a report is made within 24 hours of an outbreak and patients should be isolated for treatment.
Other diseases in the category include tuberculosis, chickenpox, measles and cholera.
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