Even Thailand’s monkeys don’t have monkeypox

Portrait of two beautiful macaque monkeys. Photo via iStock Photos.

Thai officials have now run tens of thousands of tests for monkeypox on monkeys throughout Thailand (we’re not quite sure why). There have so far been 25,000 tests, out of 50,000 monkeys in 222 locations across the country. Yesterday, a veterinarian at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Phattarapol Mee-on, announced that all the tests have turned out negative.

The natural reservoir of the monkeypox virus remains generally unknown. But, African rodents and non-human primates (including some monkeys) may harbour the virus and infect people as a zoonotic disease. Today there are a confirmed 1,033 infected people around the world.

Monkeypox cases in people have occurred outside of Africa 5 times this century, mostly linked to international travel or imported animals, including confirmed cases in at least 29 countries. The current outbreaks have nothing to do with monkeys at all.

Phattarapol said the department is working with Thailand’s Livestock Department to screen imported animals for monkeypox. He said that most of the animals belong to zoos and farms. Phattarapol added that zoos and farms understand the situation, and are willing to delay future animal imports to follow measures to contain the virus. According to the wildlife department, 1,000 monkeys were brought to Thailand this year, mostly from monkey farms in Europe and Africa.

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This news comes after 6 suspected monkeypox infections in humans also tested negative Even though no monkeypox cases have been confirmed in the Kingdom’s borders, Phattarapol says people who live near known monkey habitats are urged to stay away from them and avoid feeding them.

Even Thailand's monkeys don't have monkeypox | News by Thaiger
WEBSITE: ourworldindata.org/monkeypox

There have been five outbreaks of monkeypox since the turn of the century outside some central and west African countries where it is considered endemic in some areas. One strain of monkeypox, the Congo Basin clade, has a 10.6% fatality rate. The current strain spreading outside of central Africa has a much lower fatality rate.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Thailand News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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