Govt Addresses Rise in Monkeypox Infections After 4th Case Detected

The Public Health Ministry has been forced to take control and treatment measures after Thailand reported its fourth monkeypox case.

Health authorities found the first female patient to contract the virus on Friday. Now, they believe more cases are likely to emerge across the country.

Thailand reported the first monkeypox case on July 21 in Phuket after a 27-year-old Nigerian man tested positive for the virus. Then, a 47-year-old Thai national was diagnosed with the disease on July 28 in Bangkok.

On August 3, health officials found the third case: a 25-year-old German who traveled to Phuket with his Thai wife.

All patients have had close contact with other family and friends, but none have contracted the disease.

However, the Public Health Ministry believes that Thailand could see an increase in monkeypox cases soon.

Experts say that the disease spread is expected to be less extensive than that of Covid-19. Moreover, the Department of Disease Control (DDC)’s director general Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong said that health officials had analyzed several scenarios for different infection rates.

Although he did not elaborate on the scenarios the department has come up with, Dr. Opas insisted that monkeypox was not a serious communicable disease. Even though it has been declared a communicable disease under surveillance by the DDC, it is neither virulent nor highly contagious, he said.

In addition, Thailand’s health system is prepared to care for patients diagnosed with monkeypox and has heightened surveillance measures since the first case was detected, he added.

Dr. Opas explained that Thailand had expanded its monkeypox screening measures and now scans all international arrivals, including those arriving from countries where no cases have been reported.

Meanwhile, the government has urged hospitals to admit suspected monkeypox cases until laboratories confirm the diagnosis.

“The DDC has a plan to closely monitor and control the situation, to prepare drugs for patients and for procurement of vaccines,” he went on.

The Thai government has also ordered the first monkeypox vaccine batch, expecting to receive 1,000 doses this month.