Thailand confirms first female monkeypox case
A 22-year-old Thai woman has been confirmed as the fourth monkeypox case in Thailand. All previously confirmed cases are men — Nigerian, Thai and German nationals.
Department of Disease Control director general Dr Opart Karnkawinpong said on Friday that the woman frequented Bangkok entertainment venues popular among foreign tourists. She is believed to have contracted the disease through physical contact with an infected case, he said.
The woman told health officials she had a fever on July 29 but visited an entertainment venue the following day with Thai and foreign friends.
Later, blisters appeared on her limbs before spreading to other parts of her body including the genital area. She was admitted to a hospital in Samut Prakan province on Wednesday (August 3).
Tests the following day by the Department of Medical Sciences and Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine confirmed she had contracted monkeypox virus, according to Dr Opart.
She is being treated at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Bangkok. Health authorities are attempting to locate people who had close contact with the woman.
Dr Opart stressed that it is not easy to contract monkeypox. However, close physical contact with strangers is a risk factor, he added.
Meanwhile, the chief public health official in Phuket province, Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon, said on Friday that the Thai girlfriend of a 25-year-old German man diagnosed with monkeypox had tested negative for the virus. Her family members are being monitored by medics.
The German man is Phuket’s second monkeypox case and Thailand’s third.
The country’s first case was discovered on July 18, when a 27-year-old Nigerian man who had overstayed his visa tested positive in Phuket. He then fled to Cambodia, where he was detained and treated in Phnom Penh.
A 47-year-old Thai man was the second confirmed monkeypox case. He is believed to have caught the virus from a Belgian man who has already left Thailand.
As of Thursday, there have been 26,208 confirmed cases of monkeypox in 83 countries. The United States tops the global list with 6,617 cases, followed by Spain (4,806), Germany (2,781), the United Kingdom (2,672), and France (2,239).