Suitable private labs to be allowed to test for monkeypox, no new case yet
Private laboratories in Thailand will be allowed to test specimens of suspected monkeypox infection, in addition to facilities at major hospitals and the Department of Medical Sciences, Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha said today (Wednesday), as the government confirms that no new infections have been identified in the country, following the first case in a Nigerian man in Phuket.
Sathit said that safety measures will be increased at private labs, up to level two plus, before they will be allowed to test for monkeypox virus, because the testing process is more complicated and standard labs are not suitably equipped.
He also said he expects to sign a draft announcement from the Department of Medical Sciences to upgrade the status of private labs this afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Phuket provincial health office said last night that, so far, there is only one confirmed monkeypox case, namely the Nigerian man who is, currently, being treated at a hospital in Cambodia after he refused medical treatment and left Thailand.
Phuket’s Provincial Health Chief Dr. Kusak Kukiattikoon said that he expects lab test results on a 40-year-old Thai man, suspected of being infected with monkeypox virus, in one or two days.
He said that the patient, who is now being treated at the Vachira Phuket Hospital after he developed fever and blisters, told health investigators that he did not have close contact with the Nigerian man.