China’s confirmed cases of Mpox rose nearly five-fold in July to a new high, even as government efforts to contain the infectious disease’s spread ramp up.
(Bloomberg) — China’s confirmed cases of Mpox rose nearly five-fold in July to a new high, even as government efforts to contain the infectious disease’s spread ramp up.
Last month’s case count was 491, versus 106 in June, according to a statement from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. All patients were male and 96% of them had had sexual activity with another man, according to the Chinese CDC. There were no severe cases or deaths from mpox, the virus that was until recently known as monkeypox.
Though no longer a global health emergency after the World Health Organization lowered the global alert level for mpox in May, though it cautioned more needed to be done to eradicate the sometimes-deadly virus. The Chinese CDC in late July asked its local branches to mobilize volunteers and social organizations to reach out to “priority groups,” including men who have sex with men, to educate them about mpox and improve access to tests and treatment.
The virus’s spread in China appears to have accelerated after the mainland reopened its borders as part of its abrupt pivot away from its strict Covid Zero policies. It also comes as a government campaign to raise awareness about the disease prompts more people from at-risk groups to seek medical help — and as there’s continued detection of new cases among people coming from abroad — according to a statement from Chinese CDC experts.
It’s difficult to contain mpox’s spread given the virus’s covert transmission among men sleeping with other men, the statement added.
Market reaction in China was muted in early trading Thursday, with small gains by some diagnostic technology shares. Some healthcare firms dipped.
Guangdong province and Beijing in July remained the two locales with the largest concentration of cases, but areas including Shanghai and western Sichuan province each confirmed at least 25 mpox patients during the month.
–With assistance from Zhu Lin and Kevin Kingsbury.
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