South Korea confirmed Wednesday its first case of monkeypox infection, prompting health authorities to raise the alert level for the virus, as the country has just started to resume accepting foreign tourists following the coronavirus pandemic.

A South Korean, who arrived from Germany on Tuesday, tested positive for monkeypox, showing symptoms like mild fever, sore throat and skin lesions, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.

South Korea became the second country in Asia to report an infection with the virus after Singapore. Its health authorities plan to import antiviral drugs for monkeypox by July while bolstering measures to prevent its spread.

An electron microscopic image shows monkeypox virus particles. (Image courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)(Kyodo)

The report came at a time when the government has assessed that the COVID-19 situation in South Korea has subsided and begun to accept foreign tourists by easing immigration controls.

A foreigner who entered the country on Monday and was hospitalized with similar symptoms, meanwhile, was found to have been infected with chickenpox, the agency said.