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The Chinese health official said preventing direct skin-to-skin
contact was also part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle
A senior Chinese health official on Saturday advised people to
avoid touching foreigners after the country reported its first
case of the infectious monkeypox disease on the mainland.
Writing on his official Weibo page, Wu Zunyou, chief
epidemiologist at the CDC, recommended that people not have
"direct skin-to-skin contact with foreigners … to prevent
possible monkeypox infection and as part of our healthy
He also advised against touching people who have been abroad
within three weeks as well as "strangers."
The post raised a few eyebrows, with some questioning why
foreigners in China – many of whom have not left the country
because of strict COVID-19 barriers – would be more dangerous
than native Chinese.
China reported its first case of monkeypox on Friday. The CDC
said a 29-year-old Chinese national arrived in the City of
Chongqing Wednesday on a return from Spain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the international
monkeypox virus outbreak a public health emergency in July. In
recent weeks, cases globally have fallen by more than a quarter,
including by 55% in Europe, according to the WHO.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.