German tourist tests positive for monkeypox in Phuket, Thailand

image via World Health Organisation

A German man has tested positive for monkeypox in Phuket, becoming Thailand’s third recorded case of the virus since the global outbreak began.

The 25 year old German tourist travelled to Thailand on July 18 for a holiday in Phuket. Shortly after arriving in the kingdom, he began presenting with monkeypox symptoms.

At first, the man developed a fever and swollen lymph nodes. Later on, he developed a rash on his genitals which spread all over his body, so he went to a hospital in Phuket where he was tested for the virus by PCR. The positive result was confirmed today, August 3.

The first person to test positive for monkeypox in Thailand this year was a 27 year old Nigerian man in Phuket and the second person was a 47 year old Thai man in Bangkok. Both of whom are recovering without the use of antiviral medication.

The Director-General of the Department of Disease Control Dr Opas Karnkawinpong said that most monkeypox cases can be treated at home (home isolation) if the patient does not have any other health conditions.

Dr Opas commented on the risk of catching monkeypox in Thailand…

“As for the risk that monkeypox will spread in Thailand, we have observed three cases in males so far including two foreign males and one Thai male, all of whom had close contact with foreign males. Thailand’s data is in line with the World Health Organisation’s data which states that 98% of monkeypox cases are found in men who had a history of sexual relations with men. Therefore, the people at risk are those with close contact with foreign men.”

Thailand is importing 1000 doses of smallpox vaccines effective against the monkeypox virus from the United States, which are expected to arrive by the end of the month. The Ministry of Public Health said that vaccines would be made available to high-risk and vulnerable groups such as Thailand.

If an outbreak occurs and more vaccines are needed, Thai people can be vaccinated with Thailand’s stash of 40 year old smallpox vaccines which were produced in 1979 and 1980. The vaccines are still safe to use and are 85% effective in preventing monkeypox, according to Thailand’s Department of Medical Sciences.

SOURCE: Matichon

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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