German is Thailand's third confirmed case of monkeypox
Thailand's third recorded case of monkeypox is a 25-year-old German man who re-entered the kingdom on July 18, health authorities said yesterday.
The man reportedly began displaying symptoms of the viral disease a few days after his arrival while he was staying in Phuket.
Laboratory test results confirmed late on Tuesday afternoon that the visitor had monkeypox after he was admitted to a private hospital for treatment, said Dr Koosak Kukiatkul, Phuket's chief health officer.
This prompted a trace on the man's contacts who may also be infected, Dr Koosak said.
In a preliminary check, none of the seven contacts identified, including the man's Thai girlfriend, tested positive for monkeypox so far, he said. But they will still have to be isolated until local health authorities are fully certain they did not contract the virus, he added.
The patient began experiencing symptoms on July 23 when he had a fever and rash, said the doctor, adding that the fever continued and the rash spread to the other parts of the body including his genital area.
The man was admitted to hospital on Monday after the rash covered most parts of his body and the fever did not dissipate, Dr Koosak said.
"The German patient is more likely to have contracted the monkeypox virus before he arrived in Thailand because he developed symptoms only shortly after his arrival," he said.
Dr Koosak said there have been about eight other people who were previously admitted to hospitals in Phuket showing suspected symptoms, but all tested negative.
Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said further investigation is being conducted to trace back the transmission.
He said only about 9% of monkeypox patients require hospitalisation but suspected cases are being admitted to the hospital for disease control reasons.
"Most cases do not require medical treatment, as only those who have compromised immunity or an underlying medical condition are in need of close attention."