Korea Reports 2nd Case of Monkeypox

  • By Choi Eun-kyung

    September 05, 2022 11:07

    Korea reported its second case of monkeypox on Sunday. The patient voluntarily reported the case five days after symptoms began. 
    The infected person did not have any symptoms after arriving in Korea from Europe on Aug. 18 but tested positive on Saturday, 16 days later. The patient began suffering from a fever, headaches and dizziness on Aug. 28 and went to hospital on Aug. 30 complaining of skin pain but still did not display any tell-tale skin lesions. 
    But two days later, the patient queried a public health center about the symptoms of monkeypox and a subsequent test came back positive. Monkeypox is transmitted by sexual intercourse and other close contact.
    Monkeypox normally has a latency period of six to 15 days, and up to three weeks for some people, which means there may be more cases already in Korea that have not been detected.  
    A sign at Incheon International Airport warns of monkeypox on Sunday. /Yonhap
    Another problem is the fact that the hospital the patient visited first failed to make a proper diagnosis. Health authorities have been providing records to hospitals of individuals who have traveled to the five countries that have reported the highest number of Monkeypox cases -- France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the U.K. But the doctor who diagnosed the patient said, "The patient did not inform us of the travel history, which led to a failure to recognize it, while the diagnosis focused only on skin pain."
    The patient came into contact with 15 people since arriving in Korea. Two of them -- a family member and a friend -- are categorized medium-risk, while 13 others at the hospital and pharmacy are considered low-risk. There was no sexual contact reported. 
    Medium-risk people are monitored by health officials for 21 days after initial contact. The first monkeypox case involved eight medium-risk individuals and 41 low-risk contacts and none of them developed symptoms.
    Health authorities said there seems to be almost no chance of infection through everyday contact. 
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