Chiang Mai faces dual health threat: Monkeypox cases and rising dengue fever

Microscopic View of Floating Monkeypox Virus Cells, Image by halfpoint

Monkeypox (mpox) has found its way into Chiang Mai, with two confirmed cases reported, according to Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office. The office also raised an alarm over an escalating number of dengue fever patients, which it estimates to surpass 5,000 in the province’s capital.

The two individuals afflicted by mpox are reportedly homosexual patients. The first case involves a 31 years old man who contracted the virus after a one-night stand in Taiwan. The head of the communicable disease control unit at the Chiang Mai public health office, Songyot Khamchai, clarified that the man is past the incubation period and is no longer capable of transmitting the virus.

The second case is a 40 years old man who got infected in another province. His symptoms started to manifest while he was travelling in Chiang Mai. Khamchai informed that this patient has been sent back to his hometown for quarantine.

To date, Thailand has documented 217 mpox cases, the majority of which are males. Out of these, 187 are Thai nationals, as reported on August 15. The Department of Disease Control confirmed that there has only been one mpox fatality in the country. The deceased was HIV-positive and had syphilis but had not received treatment for either. He developed mpox symptoms on July 3 and passed away on August 11.

Khamchai highlighted that any individual in Chiang Mai who has had recent close contact with high-risk groups or has developed rashes or swollen lymph nodes can seek treatment at any hospital.

The dengue fever situation is also becoming concerning. Khamchai shared that this year, Chiang Mai has recorded nearly 5,000 cases, a significant increase from the 1,000 cases reported for the entire last year. He warned that if the number of dengue cases in the city’s Mueang district does not decrease by the end of this month, the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organisation will declare it a dengue outbreak area. This will necessitate the enforcement of the Communicable Diseases Act.

Currently, the five districts in the city with the highest number of dengue cases are Muang, Mae Ai, Fang, Chai Prakan, and Mae Rim, added Khamchai, reported Bangkok Post.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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