Travellers to be monitored for monkeypox

Travellers to be monitored for monkeypox

Chakrarat Pittayawonganon, director of the epidemiology division
Chakrarat Pittayawonganon, director of the epidemiology division

Health authorities are keeping a close watch on international arrivals from several countries where cases of monkeypox have been detected.

Chakrarat Pittayawonganon, director of the epidemiology division at the Department of Disease Control, said on Thursday that health officials will monitor travellers flying in from countries where cases of monkeypox have been detected.

This included travellers coming from some African nations, the UK, Portugal, Spain, Canada and Germany, he said.

Dr Chakrarat said the Public Health Ministry has measures in place to work with hospitals and clinics in Bangkok where those infected with monkeypox will seek treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

Dr Chakrarat said that monkeypox is not an STD, though it is transmitted via close contact so people have been urged to strictly comply with universal prevention measures.

Health officials are monitoring the condition of 12 people who were in close contact with a traveller diagnosed with monkeypox who transited through Thailand for two hours while en route to Australia.

Dr Chakrarat said on Monday that the 12 people were passengers and flight attendants on the same flight as the confirmed case. They had remained asymptomatic over the past seven days and will be monitored until day 21, the disease incubation period.

He said that monkeypox was not a dangerous communicable disease and was rated as a communicable disease justifying surveillance, like malaria and dengue haemorrhagic fever.

Symptoms included fever, sore throat, headache, body ache, backache, swollen lymph nodes, a rash, blisters and scabs.

Normally monkeypox patients recover within two to four weeks of contracting the viral infection.



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