Hong Kong discovers first case of monkeypox

September 7, 2022 - 2:35 PM
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Test tube labelled "Monkeypox virus positive" are seen in this illustration taken May 22, 2022. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

 Hong Kong has reported its first case of monkeypox, health authorities said on Tuesday, after symptoms were discovered in a 30-year-old man who arrived from the Phillippines after traveling to the United States and Canada.

It marks the first imported case in Hong Kong of monkeypox, a viral disease that the World Health Organisation has declared a global health emergency.

The Chinese special administrative region, like the mainland, has not had any local monkeypox cases.

Monkeypox typically causes mild symptoms including fever, aches and skin lesions.

Hong Kong’s government will raise the response level for the monkeypox outbreak to an “alert” level, health authorities told a media briefing on Tuesday.

More than 90 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks, as confirmed cases crossed 52,700 and non-endemic countries reported their first related deaths.

Hong Kong’s government is expected to procure a vaccine against monkeypox this month and said it has stepped up surveillance for the virus amongst travelers and within the local community.

—Reporting by Twinnie Siu and Farah Master; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Angus MacSwan