Thailand still free of monkey pox, all ten suspected cases dismissed
All ten recent suspected cases of monkey pox have tested negative and the virus has not been detected in Thailand so far, the Disease Control Department (DCD) announced on Thursday.
Director-general Dr Opas Karnkawinpong said the Public Health Ministry had received reports from foreign disease control checkpoints and private and public hospitals around the country that there were a total of ten suspected monkey pox cases and all patients were foreigners.
However, subsequent laboratory tests showed they did not have monkey pox, Opas made it clear.
He said six of the individuals were actually found to have been infected with herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 and they had received muay Thai training in gyms in Phuket and Krabi.
Lab tests found that the four other cases were simply skin infections, Opas added.
The DCD chief said local public health offices have been informed to advise the muay Thai gyms where the patients trained to clean all gear and spray disinfectants regularly.
Gyms have also been asked to be on alert and check if their clients have any rash or blisters, in which case they must instruct the clients to see a doctor and the patients must inform the authorities of their timeline, Opas said.
DCD Epidemiology Division director Dr Chakkarat Pittayawong-anont said the latest suspected case was reported by a private hospital in Samut Prakan on Tuesday.
The patient is an Australian boxer, who arrived in Thailand on June 7. He received training at a Pathum Thani gym before suffering from a fever, cough and sore throat. He later developed a rash and clear and infectious blisters on his face, neck and arms.
Chakkarat said a subsequent lab test found he did not have monkey pox but doctors were still checking the cause of the symptoms.
The World Health Organisation reported that 3,157 people in 45 countries have been confirmed to have monkey pox from May 7 to June 22. The first case in Southeast Asia was detected in Singapore. The patient is a British air steward, 42, who visited Singapore from June 15 to 17 and returned to the island country again on June 19. He was admitted to Singapore’s National Centre for Infectious Diseases on the night of June 19 and the following day was confirmed as having monkey pox.