(ECNS) -- Monkeypox will be be subject to Class B infectious disease prevention and control measures starting from Sept. 20, according to China's National Health Commission.
Testing results released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sept. 8 showed that 501 confirmed monkeypox patients were reported in the Chinese mainland in August, among which five were the first reported cases in females.
Of the confirmed cases, an overwhelming 98.9 percent of the cases involved males, and an even more remarkable 92.5 percent of these cases were identified as resulting from male-male sexual contact.
"The appearance of female infections indicates that the population affected by monkeypox in our country is further expanding," said Zhao Wei, an expert of Southern Medical University.
"The number of female infections may increase in the future, and there could even be household transmission, although the probability is low," said Li Tongzeng, a doctor from the Department of Respiratory and Infectious Diseases at Beijing You'an Hospital, adding that preventive strategies remain unchanged, and that there is no need to panic."
In Sept. 2022, China reported its first imported case of monkeypox. Starting from June 2023, indigenous monkeypox outbreaks began to occur.
Currently, more than 20 provinces across the country have reported monkeypoxcases, leading to the emergence of new local outbreaks and hidden transmission.
Class B infectious diseases in China include HIV, viral hepatitis, H7N9 bird flu, and COVID-19, which was downgraded from class A on Jan. 8 this year.