Thailand has confirmed the first case of monkey pox found in Phuket in a 27-year-old Nigerian man
Dr Opus Karnkawinpong of the Department of Disease Control (DDC) in Thailand made the announcement. He said his department was alerted by a private hospital in Phuket on July 18 that the patient was suspected of contracting the disease. The DDC team arrived to discover that the patient was a 27-year-old Nigerian national who had traveled to Phuket from his country.
“About a week ago, the patient developed fever, cough, runny nose, rash and pustules spreading from his genitals to his face, hands and the rest of his 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 submitted to the National Committee for Infectious Diseases on Thursday to confirm that the patient was the first case of monkeypox detected in Thailand.
The doctor said the Department of Disease Control had coordinated with the provincial infectious disease committee in Phuket to track down those who may have been in close contact with the patient to prevent the spread of the virus.
“People should not panic, we are continuing to investigate the nature of monkeypox to stay safe. On May 21, the department set up a monkeypox emergency center to closely monitor the situation in Thailand. Before the case was confirmed, 19 people were suspected to have contracted the disease in Thailand, but they all tested negative,” he said. “We have instructed all hospitals and skin and venereal disease clinics to report all suspected patients and closely monitor their symptoms.”
The monkeypox virus can be transmitted through contact and bodily fluids, eating raw meat and touching rodents such as rats or squirrels, as well as primates, which can be carriers of the virus.
Thailand became the 71st country in the world to confirm a case of monkeypox amid a recent outbreak.
More than 15,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported worldwide, with five deaths reported in Africa, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WHO experts met the day before to determine whether the recent rise in infections outside Africa, which began in May, represents a global public health emergency.
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