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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Foreign arrivals in Thailand are screened

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The Thai government is taking precautions to screen inbound travelers from countries with monkeypox outbreaks in hopes of preventing its further spread in the Kingdom. Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul reported that his ministry is coordinating airport screening and targeting people traveling from countries struggling with monkeypox outbreaks.

the pl. Director of the National Health Service has asked the airports in the countries to step up the efforts of their quarantine offices and increase the screening of foreign arrivals from countries with the spread of monkeypox. At the end of this week, 138 travelers from Africa and 2389 travelers from Europe were screened for monkey pox, although no infections have been found so far.

Anutin tried to reassure people that monkeypox is not nearly as serious or contagious as the Covid19 pandemic the world is recovering from, but it is still important to try to prevent its continued spread. Unlike the coronavirus, monkeypox cannot be transmitted without direct lesions or bodily fluid contents, or prolonged contact with someone who is infected. And once infected, the infection can be uncomfortable, but most people can recover at home with a low risk of death.

Still, authorities are urging to be proactive in preventing the spread as well as testing and reporting possible infections, with health authorities ramping up awareness campaigns. People who are sexually active, especially those who have multiple sex contacts, are most at risk, as monkeypox is spread through close physical contact.

The World Health Organization reported that sexual contact between two men is still the most common source of transmission, suggesting gay and bisexual men try to reduce their number of sexual partners until the global outbreak has slowed to protect themselves and prevent further spread.

Thailand has found two confirmed cases of monkey pox so far. The first was an infection from a 27-year-old Nigerian man who was diagnosed in Phuket on July 18 and fled the country by fleeing to Cambodia, where he was arrested in Phnom Penh. More than 50 people have been tested for monkey pox after coming into contact with that man, and no new infections have been found so far.

The second infection was not related at all and was found in a 47-year-old Thai man who reported developing symptoms on July 15 after having sex with a European man, whom health authorities are still looking for. 16 of the 17 people identified as having come into contact with that Thai man have tested negative for monkey pox and one is still pending.

Anyone who feared having been exposed to monkey pox will be placed in a 3-week quarantine to prevent possible spread. Vaccines are under development, and many believe that ancient smallpox vaccines may be effective against the similar disease. Vaccines that become available will first be assigned to frontline and health professionals to immunize them in the treatment of potential outbreaks.

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