China to Tighten Control of Monkeypox
Lin Zhiyin
DATE:  Sep 15 2023
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
China to Tighten Control of Monkeypox China to Tighten Control of Monkeypox

(Yicai) Sept. 15 -- China is intensifying its fight against monkeypox as the illness caused by the monkeypox virus that caused a global outbreak last year will be considered a Class-B infectious disease from Sept. 20.

Monkeypox, which can cause fever, muscle aches, and rash, will join the group of SARS, AIDS, and viral hepatitis and is named a Class-B infectious disease, also known as a strictly managed infectious disease, the National Health Commission of China said in a statement issued today. The scale goes from A to C.

China reported the very first imported monkeypox case in September 2022 and since June 2023, domestic outbreaks have appeared in more than 20 provincial-level regions. Until last year, the virus, which can be prevented through vaccination, was mainly known in Central Africa and West Africa.

Despite the new categorization, the epidemic is expected to continue its existence in China for some time but more will be done to prevent and control subsequent outbreaks. Still, quarantine to treat suspected and confirmed cases is not necessary as doctors can decide whether to treat those infected in outpatient or inpatient care as needed, Peng Jie, head of the department of infectious diseases at Nanfang Hospital, told Yicai.

After the move, patient management will become more scientific, Peng said, adding that this will help make use of medical resources while monitoring and controlling transmission.

However, from the perspective of pathogenicity, monkeypox does not pose a huge threat to public health, so the Class-B classification is appropriate, per an expert in infectious diseases.

China added 501 new confirmed monkeypox cases in August and the total exceeded 1,000, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The pace of recording new domestic cases has slowed from a peak but the outbreak is not over for a long time, multiple experts said. Some patients have also tested positive for HIV, some doctors added.

Editors: Tang Shihua, Emmi Laine

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Keywords:   Category B Infectious Disease,Monkeypox,National Health Commission