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Taiwan receives first shipment of monkeypox medicine

Taipei, July 28 (CNA) Taiwan received 504 courses of tecovirimat, an antiviral drug that can be used to treat monkeypox, on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced Thursday.

The drug will be given to patients who develop serious monkeypox infections and those who are at high risk of doing so, CDC Deputy Director General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at a press briefing. .

The batch of 504 tecovirimat courses received on Thursday will expire in 2028, and the CDC will buy more if needed, Chuang said.

Most patients with monkeypox do not need specific treatment, only supportive care to help manage their symptoms and any complications, Chuang said, citing recommendations issued by the World Health Organization and the Center European disease prevention and control.

Tecovirimat has been approved by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of smallpox, cowpox and monkeypox, according to the CDC.

In the United States, the drug has been approved for the treatment of smallpox, as well as severe, high-risk cases of monkeypox, according to the CDC.

Meanwhile, Taiwan is also working to finalize a deal to purchase vaccines that provide protection against monkeypox, Chuang said.

On June 23, Taiwan designated monkeypox a Category 2 communicable disease, which means doctors are required to report confirmed or suspected infections to the CDC within 24 hours.

To date, two imported cases of the disease have been recorded in Taiwan, involving people who traveled to Germany and the United States. One of the patients remains hospitalized, while the other has recovered and been discharged, according to the CDC.