First case of monkeypox in Japan detected in Tokyo: Media

Japan reported its first case of monkeypox on July 25, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS, XINHUA) - Japan’s first case of the monkeypox virus was detected in Tokyo, broadcaster NTV reported on Monday (July 25), citing an unnamed government source.

The infected person is a man in his 30s living in the capital, the Mainichi newspaper reported.

The World Health Organisation on Saturday said the rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak represents a global health emergency.

So far this year, there have been more than 16,000 monkeypox cases in more than 75 countries, and five deaths in Africa.

The virus spreads via close contact and tends to cause flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions. 

Japan on Monday issued a level-one alert against monkeypox.

The alert level, the lowest on the country’s four-tier scale, was issued earlier in the day, ahead of the announcement on Monday evening that the health ministry here had detected the first case of the disease in the Tokyo area.

The Japanese government has asked its nationals overseas to take extra precautions against catching the disease. The government has also warned citizens who plan to travel abroad to be especially careful, according to public broadcaster NHK.  

A task force to deal with the outbreak of monkeypox, a tropical disease with symptoms similar to smallpox, has been formed in Japan and is headed by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management Takashi Murata.  

The task force held their first talks on Monday and outlined its strategy to fight the arrival of the disease.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki, meanwhile, told a press briefing on the matter on Monday that “the task force will work with international organisations to collect data on monkeypox patients outside Japan to learn how other countries are dealing with the disease”, NHK reported.

According to NHK, the task force will prepare for Japan’s suspected cases of 
monkeypox “by determining testing methods for the disease and setting up medical institutions that accept patients".

Isozaki said that Japan has strengthened its monitoring of the disease at its borders and that visitors to the country are being encouraged to report any possible symptoms of the disease to authorities. 




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