A member of Thailand’s Medical Council has advised the Thai population to avoid sexual contact with foreigners to prevent the spread of monkeypox. He even warned that there could be deaths among people with other serious health problems if they became infected. This is despite the fact that the disease cannot be transmitted through sexual contact.
While information available online describes monkeypox spreading through close skin-to-skin contact with infected individuals, such as through sex or contamination with items such as bedding, towels or clothing, the NSW government health department in Australia has previously disclosed to the public.
The concerned councilor, Amon Leelarasami, said Thais can become infected with the virus through secretion from blisters on the body.
Most cases worldwide so far have been among gay and bisexual men according to aidsmap.com, while the World Health Organization has warned that men who have sex with men are currently the group most at risk for infection.
The director of the World Health Organization, Mr. Tedros Ghebreyesus has since proclaimed that such men should consider limiting their sexual partners to reduce risk and contain the spread.
He called on authorities and governments to fight stigma in comments to CNBC last week, but Amon’s statements are unlikely to do that.
Amon later said he was not sure whether monkeypox would become endemic in Thailand. The Thai government itself, according to their online page, contains no warning about limiting sexual contact with foreigners.
But Amon was clearly concerned. He said the disease could spiral out of control if it spreads in monkeys, rabbits and rats.
And there could even be deaths if human patients have underlying conditions such as cancer or immune deficiency problems, he warned in comments to the English media. He said people who develop a fever, blisters and a red rash should get a monkey pox test immediately and isolate for three weeks.
He also called on hotel operators to clean rooms in accordance with international standards to contain the spread.
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