Three mpox cases found in Thailand

FILE PHOTO: Three new mpox cases were found in Thailand this week.

Three new cases of mpox have been identified in Thailand, bringing the total number of infections to 18 since the virus was declared to be an infectious disease requiring special surveillance in May of last year. “Mpox” has replaced the word “monkeypox” as the World Health Organisation advised changing to quell a rise in related racist and stigmatising language associated with monkeypox.

All three of the cases are male patients between the ages of 21 and 40, and they are being treated at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute according to the Department of Disease Control (DDC).

Two of the men were close Thai friends, and one is a foreigner. The mpox cases were identified quickly and authorities believe the men were isolated in the hospital before they spread it to anyone else. DDC director-general Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong assured that the risk of spread is low.

“The three new patients are between 21 and 40 years of age, two of whom were found to have been attending an activity in which they were in close physical contact with others. An epidemiological investigation found there isn’t any possibility that these three patients have spread the disease to any other parties. It’s important to be aware that this disease can be transmitted through close physical contact, including cases when one has sex with a stranger.”

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Between one and three new cases of mpox are uncovered in Thailand each month, though some months no new cases are reported. Authorities began monitoring for mpox on May 25, 2022 and the first case was found in Thailand on July 21 the same year.

The mpox virus is spread through contact with an infectious blister or through sex with infected people. While the risk of a case of mpox remains low, officials urge those who have blisters or spots around the body that appear similar to mpox to refrain from activities that involve close physical contact.

Moving to the next infectious disease risk, a new study has found that 46.2% of tuberculosis patients were found to have what has been dubbed the Beijing sublineage. This Lineage 2 strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is highly transmissible and drug-resistant, according to the Department of Medical Sciences.


Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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