Thailand's first monkeypox case found in Phuket
Thailand’s first case of monkeypox was detected last week on a Nigerian man in Phuket, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) announced on Thursday night.
DDC director-general Dr Opas Karnkawinpong said the department had been alerted by a private hospital in Phuket on July 18 that a patient was suspected to have contracted the disease. A DDC team arrived to learn the patient was a Nigerian national aged 27 who had travelled from his country to Phuket.
“About a week ago, the patient developed fever, cough, runny nose, rashes and pustules spreading from the genitals to the face, arms and rest of the body,” Opas said.
“A PCR test on the collected sample detected the monkeypox virus and the result was confirmed by the Department of Medical Sciences laboratory on July 19.”
Opas added that the lab results were then submitted to the National Communicable Disease Committee on Thursday to confirm that this patient was the first case of monkeypox found in Thailand.
Opas added that DDC has coordinated with the provincial communicable disease committee to track down those who may have been in close contact with the patient to prevent the virus from spreading.
“People should not panic and study the nature of monkeypox to stay safe. The DDC established an emergency centre for monkeypox on May 21 to closely monitor the situation in Thailand. Before this case was confirmed, 19 people had been suspected of having contracted the disease in Thailand, but they all tested negative,” he said. “The DDC has instructed all hospitals, as well as clinics for skin and sexually transmitted diseases to report all suspected patients to the DDC and to monitor their symptoms closely.”
Monkeypox virus can be spread through contact and bodily fluids, eating uncooked meat and touching rodents like rats or squirrels as well as primates that may be carrying the virus.
There are currently more than 15,000 monkeypox cases worldwide with five deaths reported in Africa as per the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.