On September 16, the first case of monkeypox was reported in China.
The Chongqing health commission reported that a person, whose age and sex were not disclosed, developed symptoms while in quarantine for COVID-19.
The diagnosis was corroborated by a laboratory and National Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China.
The patient was complying with the quarantine regulations for COVID-19 after his arrival by plane in Chongqing from abroad, when he began to feel symptoms, including a skin rash.
He is currently in stable condition and is being treated in isolation at a city hospital.
A group of CCP experts confirmed the monkeypox diagnosis on September 16, saying the patient had been isolated in quarantine upon entry into Chongqing and had no record of social activities. The people with whom he has had contact have also been isolated and are under medical observation.
“The risk of an epidemic is low,” added the experts.
Likewise, experts advised those coming from countries with cases of monkeypox should have checkup and report if they have had contact with anyone who is sick.
Those traveling to these countries should avoid sharing objects or having sexual relations with suspected carriers of the virus.
On September 6, Hong Kong confirmed its first case of monkeypox after a 30-year-old man from the Philippines tested positive.
Based on his symptoms and incubation period he may have acquired the virus while in the U.S. a month earlier.
In response to this first case, the CCP set up the Sai Kung outdoor recreation center on Hong Kin Road as an isolation center to house people who had close contact with an infected person.
After experts made their first recommendations, on September 17, the chief epidemiologist of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of China, Wu Zunyou, expanded the details of the precautionary measures and published on the Weibo website tips to avoid contagion.
When Wu recommended, “Do not have direct skin-to-skin contact with foreigners,” it caused great concern among internet users considering it “racist and intimidating.” So the comments to his publication were removed. Even so, several media echoed this advice and people’s indignant reactions.
Portrait of a virus
Monkeypox is an infection generally mild and very rare, first discovered in 1958 in a colony of monkeys used for laboratory research. this is where the name comes from.
The first recorded case in humans was in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during a campaign against smallpox. Since then, cases have only been reported in countries in Central and West Africa.
A few people working in the health field in Africa carried the virus to other countries, but without causing massive infections. This changed in 2022 when they began reporting on people with the symptoms of the virus in various parts of the world, especially in Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Brazil.
To date, 104 countries have confirmed at least one case of monkeypox.
The most common symptoms, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) are, “Fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy and swollen lymph nodes, followed or accompanied by a skin rash that may last two to three weeks.”
It went on, “The rash can affect the face, the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, the groin, and the genital or anal regions. It can also appear in the mouth, throat, year or vagina, or in the eyes.”
Transmission of the virus is usually through direct contact with the skin of the patient who has a skin rash. So it is much less contagious than the flu or COVID-19.
The WHO alerted gays and bisexuals, about the precautions to take, since most of the time the infected people came from this group.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) counted 61,282 cases and only 20 deaths worldwide. This demonstrates the very low mortality rate produced by this virus.
Even so, on July 23, the director of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, made the decision to declare a ” public health emergency of international importance,” contradicting the vote of his own panel of experts who rejected the measure in a 9 to 6 vote.
Tedros said in a video, “I have decided that the global outbreak of monkeypox represents a public health emergency of international concern. WHO’s assessment is that the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions except the European region, where we assess the risk as high.”
Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, president of the Truth for Health Foundation, was one of the main critics of the WHO director’s decision.
She said, “About 98% of (monkeypox) cases are among men who have sex with men, and primarily among those who have multiple recent or new anonymous partners.”
She concluded, “So why did Tedros unilaterally decide to declare a global emergency for the vast majority of people who do not fit this profile?”