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Monkeypox in Thailand

12 people in Thailand are under medical observation after coming into contact with a patient with a confirmed diagnosis of monkeypox

Thailand’s Ministry of Health announced today that 12 people are under close observation after coming into contact with a monkeypox patient who flew in transit from Thailand to Australia.

Dr. Chakkrarat Pittthaya, director of epidemiology for the Department of Disease Control, said the passenger was in Bangkok for two hours before boarding a flight to Australia, where he was confirmed to have monkeypox.

Confirmation of the infection prompted the agency to closely monitor the condition of 12 airline crew members and passengers who were in close proximity to the patient, Chakkrarat said. He said they have not yet been found to have any symptoms of the disease. He did not give details of the flight.

Monkeypox suspected in Phuket

Earlier, he said, the five suspected cases in Phuket turned out to be herpes simplex virus (HPV) and not monkeypox, as experts had feared. The doctor said three men, brothers who had come to Phuket from Ireland to study Thai boxing, were under observation. They had clear blisters on their bodies that were originally thought to be caused by monkeypox, but RT-PCR tests showed that the infection turned out to be the herpes simplex virus.

Two Thai nationals who attended the same gym as the three brothers from Ireland also developed blisters, but they, too, tested positive for HPV. Chakkrarat said all five were hospitalized at the Bamrasnaradur Infectious Disease Institute for treatment.

So far, there have been 406 confirmed cases of monkeypox and 88 suspected cases in 32 countries. The five countries outside Africa with the highest number of monkeypox cases are the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Canada.

According to Dr. Chakkrarat, no cases of monkeypox have been identified in Thailand so far. He advised people with fever, sore throats, swollen lymph nodes, and blisters on the extremities and face to see a doctor, especially if they have returned from countries where cases of monkeypox have been identified.

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