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  • Thailand Monkeypox | MPox Status

    Thailand upgrades monkeypox alert to national level

    Thai officials are on guard for monkeypox. The country has upgraded its monkeypox alert to the national level today. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul called an emergency meeting today after the World Health Organisation declared monkeypox a Global Health Emergency.

    This news comes after a Nigerian man, who was the first person recorded with monkeypox in Thailand, escaped to Cambodia. The man had been diagnosed with the virus in Phuket, but when officials went to his condo to take him to a hospital, he had fled. The man is believed to have then swam across the Sa Kaeo River to Cambodia, where he was arrested yesterday.

    Phuket health officials say they have tracked down people who came into close contact with the man. The Phuket Public Health Office said 2 of the 19 had recently tested negative for monkeypox, while test results for the others would be known in a few days. Anutin said health chiefs at today’s meeting believed the man had not spread the virus, so Thailand is still safe. He said that disease control officials around the country are working with border checkpoints to screen travellers for monkeypox. Travellers from at-risk countries are being monitored tightly, he added.

    The Medical Services Department says it has enough vaccines to protect Thailand from monkeypox. The vaccine is reported to have been in cold storage for 40 years, but the department said it was still viable. The department added that it also has sufficient medicine and facilities incase a monkeypox outbreak happens. Anutin has said that Covid-19 prevention measures are also effective against monkeypox, which spreads more slowly than Covid-19 does.

    The WHO rename monkeypox to avoid racist stereotypes

    In a bid to avoid racism and stigmatisation, the World Health Organization (WHO) is renaming monkeypox, mpox. The WHO will use mpox as a synonym for monkeypox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while monkeypox is phased out altogether. The move comes after the United Nations voiced concerns over the way the virus was being reported by the world’s media after an outbreak in May earlier this year. The UN believes the reporting appeared to “reinforce homophobic and racist stereotypes and exacerbate stigma.” The latest surge in monkeypox infections was among men who had sex with other men but the WHO made it known that anybody can catch monkeypox.

    In May, the disease, which causes fever, muscular aches and large boil-like skin lesions, spread rapidly causing panic that the world was set for another global pandemic.
    The WHO declared the spread of monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), the global health organisation’s highest level of alert, on July 23. Fortunately, the disease did not have a Covid-19 effect on the rest of the world. The UN health agency yesterday said…

    “When the outbreak of monkeypox expanded earlier this year, racist and stigmatising language online, in other settings and some communities was observed and reported to WHO.”
    The WHO launched a public consultation process to find a new name for the disease earlier this year and received more than 200 proposals. A men’s health organization, REZO, suggested the name is changed to mpox or Mpox and added that if media outlets stopped using monkey imagery people would take the disease more seriously. The WHO will begin using a new preferred term mpox as a synonym for monkeypox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while monkeypox is phased out.

    The one-year transition is to avoid confusion caused by changing the name in the midst of a global outbreak. The WHO confirmed there had been 81,107 confirmed cases and 55 deaths from 110 countries this year. About 97% of those infected were men, with a median age of 34 years old; 85% identified as men who had sex with men, according to the WHO’s case dashboard. The 10 most affected countries globally are the US (29,001), Brazil (9,905), Spain (7,405), France (4,107), Colombia (3,803), Britain (3,720), Germany (3,672), Peru (3,444), Mexico (3,292), and Canada (1,449). They account for 86% of the global number of cases.

    There have been 12 recorded cases of mpox in Thailand. The latest, a 25-year-old man, arrived in Thailand from Oman on October 3 and then travelled to Phuket the following day with three friends. The disease was first discovered in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the spread among humans since then mainly limited to certain West and Central African nations.

  • #2
    Avoid bushmeat to help avoid Monkeypox

    Thailand is urging people to avoid the consumption of bushmeat and the import of animals from unidentified countries after the recent small outbreaks of monkeypox. The Department of Disease Control has acknowledged the danger posed by monkeypox but insist no cases of the disease have been detected in Thailand. The Thai government instructed the Public Health Ministry to set up and a Public Health Crisis Command Centre as a precaution and says it will monitor travellers from the risk countries.

    The World Health Organisation revealed around 80 cases of monkeypox have now been reported worldwide, and 50 cases from 11 countries that are not the main infection zone are under investigation. The first case was found in England by someone who had travelled to Nigeria at the end of April 2022

    Thai media reported that monkeypox patients were found in 15 countries including England, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, French, Germany, Sweden, the US, Canada, Austria, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland and Greece. The DDC director, Dr. Opas Kankawinpong, has explained to Thai media he is well aware of the monkeypox risk to Thailand after the recent relaxation of travelling measures but says the department is keeping a close eye on the people arriving from those countries most at risk. Between May 1 and 22, 13,142 travellers arrived from England, 1,352 from Spain, and 268 from Portugal.

    The director of the Thai Institute of Dermatology, Mingkwan Wichaidit, revealed that monkeypox symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headaches, and lymphadenitis within the first3 days. A rash to the face follows and spreads to other parts of the body. The rash develops into blisters and then it will crust between 14 – 21 days. Mingkwan says the symptoms last between 2 and 4 weeks.

    The director urged residents to wash their hands with soap and alcohol frequently throughout the day. He also pressed people to avoid touching wildlife animals, the consumption of bushmeat and the import of animals from unidentified countries.

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    • #3
      Monkeypox Alert @ “Requiring close Surveillance Level”

      The Public Health Ministry has raised its alert level for the monkeypox virus, classifying it as a communicable disease requiring close surveillance. This is despite no cases of the virus having been reported in the country to date. However, according to a Bangkok Post report, Dr Chakrarat Pittayawonganon from the Department of Disease Control says the virus is far less contagious than Covid-19. Scientists have already stated the current outbreak is unlikely to become a pandemic.

      Most monkeypox patients recover in a matter of weeks, without the need for medical treatment. However, Chakrarat says that some, particularly immunocompromised children, can develop severe symptoms. These in turn can lead to complications such as serious infection of the lungs, brain, bloodstream, or corneas.

      According to Dr Wasun Chantratita, from Mahidol University’s Faculty of Medicine at Ramathibodi Hospital, a test kit for monkeypox should be ready in around 2 weeks. The kit is being developed using genetic information sequenced from the virus specimens of patients in Portugal and Belgium. In the interim, he says PCR testing is the main method for detecting monkeypox infections, but that involves a wait time of 2 – 4 days.

      Data from the World Health Organisation shows there are 131 confirmed monkeypox cases and 101 suspected cases, in 19 countries.

      DDC chief, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, says Thailand is using the Thailand Pass system to screen international travellers from countries where monkeypox has been reported. To date, most of Europe’s confirmed infections have been in the UK, Portugal, and Spain.

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      • #4
        Thailand’s sixth monkeypox patient says symptoms started while she was in Qatar

        A young woman in Thailand’s northeast province of Maha Sarakham is the kingdom’s sixth confirmed monkeypox patient, the Department for Disease and Control (DDC) announced yesterday. The 21 year old woman says her symptoms started while she was in Qatar for work. The woman had worked as a masseuse in Qatar and said that while she was there, she started getting blisters on her private parts on August 10.

        The woman returned home to Thailand on Sunday, August 21. She was admitted to a hospital the next day. The DDC’s director-general Dr Opas Karnkawinpong said the lab result on August 24 confirmed that the woman had monkeypox. He noted that four people who were in contact with the woman are considered highly at risk for monkeypox, and another 24 people are considered at risk. Dr Orpas has advised them to isolate for 21 days.

        Thailand’s fifth case of monkeypox was confirmed earlier this month, in a rather similar story. The patient was a 25 year old Thai woman who was thought to have started displaying symptoms in Dubai before travelling to Thailand, according to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

        Airport staff noticed that the 25 year old woman looked unwell and had blisters on her body when she arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport on August 14, so they took her to the airport’s quarantine facility, said Anutin. Thailand’s first monkeypox case is a 27 year old Nigerian man in Phuket, the second case in a Thai man in Bangkok, the third case in a German tourist in Phuket, and the fourth in a Thai woman in Samut Prakan. As of yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a total of 47,652 monkeypox cases across the globe.

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