Monkey smallpox designated as a ‘second-grade infectious disease’… Equivalent to COVID-19 and measles

Report and quarantine within 24 hours… Expert “Appropriately designated as Level 2”

Prior to the revision of the notification, it was designated as a class 1 novel infectious disease syndrome.

Foreigners waiting for quarantine

(Yeongjongdo = Yonhap News) Reporter Kim Do-hoon = Overseas entrants are waiting for quarantine at the arrival hall of Terminal 1 of Incheon International Airport on the morning of the 27th.
In front of the passengers, a notice about monkey pox has been erected. 2022.5.27 [공동취재]superdoo82@yna.co.kr

(Seoul = Yonhap News) Correspondent Choi In-young = As the quarantine authorities decided to pursue a plan to designate ‘monkey pox’ as a legally class 2 infectious disease, it seems that monkey pox will be subject to the same management system as Corona 19 and measles.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) held a crisis assessment meeting on the 31st and decided to revise the notice to designate monkey pox as a class 2 and quarantine infectious disease.

Designation as a legal infectious disease means that quarantine measures such as the scope and timing of reporting are specified in accordance with the ‘Act on the Prevention and Management of Infectious Diseases’.

However, until the revision of the notice is completed, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) decided to manage monkey pox as a new infectious disease syndrome, which is a class 1 infectious disease. The head of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can designate and announce the new infectious disease syndrome in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Welfare, even if the notification is not revised.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) explained, “This is to quickly take first action measures, including isolation, in case monkey pox is introduced into Korea before it is designated as a second-grade infectious disease.”

Class 2 infectious diseases are infectious diseases that need to be isolated and reported within 24 hours when an outbreak or epidemic occurs in consideration of the possibility of transmission.

COVID-19 is also a second-grade infectious disease. Corona 19 was managed as a first-class infectious disease, but on April 25, it was downgraded to a second-class infectious disease.

A first-class infectious disease differs from a second-class infectious disease in that an outbreak or epidemic must be reported “immediately” and high-level isolation such as negative pressure isolation is required. Ebola virus disease, smallpox, plague, anthrax, SARS, MERS, and swine influenza are first-class infectious diseases.

In addition to COVID-19, second-grade infectious diseases include tuberculosis, chickenpox, measles, cholera, typhoid, paratyphoid, bacterial dysentery, enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli, hepatitis A, whooping cough, mumps, polio, meningococcal infection, pneumococcal infection, leprosy, scarlet fever , rubella, etc.

An official from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) explained, “Considering the severity and impact of monkey pox, it is not an infectious disease that will be designated as a first-class infectious disease, but we are pushing for designation as a second-class because it requires isolation.”

Professor Kim Woo-joo of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Korea University Guro Hospital said, “Monkey pox has a low fatality rate to be designated as a first-class infectious disease, and negative pressure isolation is not necessary.”

In non-endemic areas, the fatality rate of monkey pox is known to be around 1%.

Preventing monkey pox from entering Korea, strengthening surveillance
Preventing monkey pox from entering Korea, strengthening surveillance

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Monkey smallpox is known to be endemic to Central and West Africa, but since the first case was reported in the UK on the 7th, infection cases have been increasing in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Australia.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of the 26th (local time), 257 confirmed cases and up to 127 suspected cases were reported in 23 countries in non-endemic areas. No deaths have been reported in non-endemic countries.

Professor Kim said, “I don’t know whether it was introduced to each country from Africa for a long time and spread, but it is not known whether it has surfaced this time or has recently spread.

There have been no confirmed cases of monkeypox in Korea.

Professor Kim warned, “Many Koreans go to and from Europe and the United States, and there is a possibility that they will enter Korea unless entry is blocked or monkeypox is not stopped in the country where it is caused.”

Although the WHO diagnoses that the possibility of a global pandemic (pandemic) of monkey pox is not high at this time, it acknowledges that there is insufficient information about it, raising caution.

It is unclear whether monkeypox can spread through the air like COVID-19, exactly by what route and to what extent it spreads.

However, Professor Kim said, “There is not much information on monkeypox, but it is a lot compared to when SARS or Corona 19 first appeared. The problem is how much to secure, but there are vaccines,” he said. was judged not to be

However, he emphasized the need to designate it as a legal infectious disease and quickly diagnose, isolate and trace it.

Even with the same second-grade infectious disease, it is expected that monkey smallpox will not be as contagious as Corona 19.

Professor Kim Tak of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital said, “If person-to-person transmission does not occur as common as COVID-19, which can be spread through air, the likelihood of a similar outbreak to COVID-19 is low.”

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) started the monkey pox countermeasures team from the same day, and issued a warning level of the infectious disease crisis of monkey pox to the ‘interest’ level. In addition, the risk for the high-risk group was evaluated as ‘medium’ and the risk for the general public as ‘low’.

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