After discovering the first case of monkeypox in China, the chief epidemiologist at the national health agency has warned the population not to come into skin contact with foreigners. "Don't have skin contact with foreigners," Wu Zunyou wrote on the Weibo short message service as the first piece of advice to avoid contagion. The recommendation triggered violent reactions on the Chinese Internet. Users saw discrimination and criticized the information as not very scientific.
"It makes me sick to read words like that," wrote one user. Others complained of scaremongering. It was recalled how Chinese or other Asians abroad had been discriminated against after the initial outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in central China. A foreign language teacher pointed out that he has lived in China for 12 years, has permanent residency rights and has not left the country for three years because of the pandemic: "What should I make of the first sentence?"
The virus is transmitted through direct contact of the skin or mucous membrane with body fluids or the typical skin changes. According to analyses, around 95 percent of those infected during the current outbreak were infected during sexual activity, with men who had sex with men being particularly affected. In Germany, which was badly affected, the number of infections recorded had recently fallen.