6 June 2024

Thailand has reported its first monkey pox related fatality, in a man who was also infected with HIV and syphilis, according to Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the Disease Control Department.

He said today (Monday) that the 34-year old patient was admitted to a private hospital in Chon Buri province on July 3rd and was diagnosed with monkey pox a week later.

The patient subsequently developed a sore throat and was found to have a fungal infection, an opportunistic disease found in those with HIV. After 4 weeks of treatment, he was discharged from the hospital, but was later sent to Bamrasnaradura Institute of Infectious Diseases sufferingfrom fatigue and breathing difficulties.

In addition to rashes, doctors also found that he was suffering with lung and brain infections. Blood tests showed a high white blood cell count, an indicator of a serious immune reaction, and doctors administered antibiotics and monkey pox anti-viral medication. The man died last Friday, said Dr. Tares.

By August 8th, there had been a total of 189 monkey pox cases reported in Thailand in 161 Thais and 28 foreigners. Most are gay men, 82 of whom were also infected with HIV.

Dr. Sophon Iamsirithavorn, the deputy director-general of the Disease Control Department, attributed the increase inmonkey pox cases to high risk behaviour.

Globally, 152 people have died from monkey pox.