11 July 2024

Thailand’s Department of Disease Control (DDC) announced the discovery of the country’s fourth confirmed monkeypox case today (Friday), in a 22-year-old Thai woman, the first infection in a female found in the country.

DDC Director-General Dr. Opart Karnkawinpong said that the Thai woman reportedly frequented Bangkok night spots once a week and, on July 29th, she developed a fever, followed by blisters, which appeared on her legs and hands the following day. They then spread all over her body.

On Wednesday, she checked into a hospital in Samut Prakan for diagnosis and treatment. Specimens were sent to the Medical Sciences Department and the lab at the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University, which confirmed she is infected with the monkeypox virus.

Dr. Opart said that the patient has been sent to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute for treatment.

The three previous cases are a 27-year-old Nigerian in Phuket, who left for Cambodia late last month, a 47-year-old Thai man in Bangkok, who has a history of having unprotected sex with another man, and a 25-year-old German tourist in Phuket, who is believed to have been infected before his arrival in Thailand.

Dr. Opart also said that he has instructed the disease control office in Chon Buri province and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s Health Department to trace the woman’s friends for examination.

Although the monkeypox virus is not easily transmissible, he suggested that people avoid close physical contact with strangers, to reduce the risk of becoming infected by the virus.

Regular washing of hands with soup or spraying with disinfectant, wearing face masks all the time when outdoors, not sharing personal objects with others and avoiding touching the faces, eyes, noses or mouths of the other people are an effective defence against infection, he advised.

Worldwide, the monkeypox situation report yesterday shows 26,208 confirmed cases in 83 countries. The top five countries are the United States (6,617 cases), Spain (​​4,806 cases), Germany (2,781 cases), the United Kingdom (2,672 cases), and France (2,239 cases).