Japan steps up surveillance for monkeypox

Faced with a spate of monkeypox infections, Japan’s Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Shigeyuki Goto has announced that the country will step up its surveillance.

The minister explained that there have been no reports of infection in Japan so far, although it is a category 4 infectious disease that is subject to full surveillance.

Authorities should report monkeypox infections immediately

Last week, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs asked the regional authorities and medical facilities to report all suspected cases immediately and to step up surveillance. In addition, Japan would like to work more closely with the WHO to prevent infections in the country.

The disease develops after an incubation period of one to three weeks after infection with the monkeypox virus. The first symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, myalgia and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and chest.

250 infections reported worldwide

In the last few days, infections have been reported in England, Germany, the USA and some other countries. In total there were 250 cases on May 24th.

However, doctors are giving the all-clear and saying it is unlikely that a new epidemic or pandemic is imminent. Nevertheless, the WHO advises smallpox vaccination for vulnerable groups.

The USA is already preparing a vaccination campaign against the virus, and England is also stocking up on smallpox vaccines.

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