Thailand has recorded its first case of monkeypox, and the infection was diagnosed in a 27-year-old Nigerian man who travelled from Nigeria to Phuket, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) reported on Thursday evening.
Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, DDC director-general, said a joint investigation team was sent to a private hospital in Phuket on Monday after the hospital suspected that one of its patients had monkeypox symptoms.
Last week, the patient was admitted to the hospital with fever, coughing, sore throat and runny nose. He also had rashes and lesions in his genital area, and they had spread to other parts of his body and face.
A PCR lab test from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases Clinical Center found that the man had monkeypox on Tuesday. He was later confirmed by DDC lab testing to have the virus.
Dr Opas said disease control officials in the province had been instructed to monitor and identify any other potential cases in the province, to help limit the spread.
The National Disease Control Committee concluded on Thursday that this was Thailand’s first case of monkeypox.
The DDC chief urged people not to panic as the World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet declared monkeypox as a global emergency because the symptoms are not severe.
On Thursday, WHO experts had a meeting to decide whether a surge in infections outside Africa since May now constitutes a global health emergency.
There are now more than 15,000 monkeypox cases worldwide, with five deaths reported in Africa, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest report.