11 July 2024

All 19 “high risk” people, who in close contact with the Nigerian man, who is Thailand’s first and so far only confirmed monkeypox case, tested negative for the virus, said Phuket provincial health chief Dr. Kusak Kukiattikoon today (Monday), as he advised people not to panic.

He said that the latest lab test results have cleared all of them, but they are still in isolation and being closely monitored by health officials, who will call them by phone on the 7th, 14th and 21st days to check their conditions, after which officials will take specimens for further lab tests.

He said that monkeypox is transmitted through close physical contact with an infected person who has developed symptoms, such as blisters, or through sexual contact.

Preventive measures include the wearing of face masks, regular hand washing, avoiding touching other people’s faces, eyes, noses or mouths, avoiding sharing personal belongingsand distancing themselves from those infected with monkeypox.

The Nigerian man, who overstayed his Thai visa and fled Thailand last week after getting himself checked at a hospital in Phuket, is now being treated at a hospital in Cambodia, after he had illegally entered the country. Cambodian police said that he will not be sent back to Thailand and may face prosecution for illegal entry.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has taken precautionary measures to deal with the virus.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said today that the BMA is coordinating with the Thai Hotels Association (THA) to keep a close watch for clients who may have a high fever, rashes or blisters and has also alerted all clinics and hospitals under the city’s supervision.

Other precautionary measures include coordinating with pharmacies and civil society networks to keep an eye out for people suspected of being infected.

He said that, so far, there has not been a monkeypox case reported in Bangkok adding, however, that officials may visit communities where there are high concentrations of Nigerians to monitor the situation.