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Taiwan reports first local Mpox cases

Two men infected in February have no recent overseas travel history

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FILE - This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows a colorized transmission electron micrograph of ...

FILE - This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows a colorized transmission electron micrograph of ... (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan on Wednesday (March 1) reported two local monkeypox (Mpox) cases, the first domestic infections of the viral zoonotic disease, with authorities urging caution.

A male in his 40s from Hsinchu County and a male in his 20s from Kaohsiung City started exhibiting symptoms in late February, including fever, itchy rash, blisters, swollen lymph nodes, and lesions on the tongue, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The patients tested positive for Mpox on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27, respectively. They have not traveled abroad recently, said the CDC. A total of 25 contacts have been identified and asked to monitor their health for 21 days.

This brings Taiwan’s total Mpox cases to seven, including two local cases and five imported ones. Among the imported was one reported last month, a male in his 30s from the north, who had traveled to European countries in the first two months and engaged in what an official described as “social activities.”

Taiwan listed Mpox as a category 2 notifiable communicable disease on June 23, 2022. A global Mpox outbreak that began in May last year has affected 109 countries with over 86,000 cases, according to the CDC.