Thai woman added to monkeypox cases

Thai woman added to monkeypox cases

Thailand's fourth confirmed monkeypox case is also the first female in the country to have contracted the virus during the current outbreak, the Public Health Ministry reported yesterday.

Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of Department of Disease Control (DDC), yesterday said that records of her movements showed the 22-year-old had entered an entertainment venue in Bangkok known to be popular among foreigners.

The woman had close contact with a foreign man and started to develop a fever on July 29.

Despite having already developed symptoms, she is reported to have continued with the planned night out with Thai and foreign friends, before breaking out in blisters the next day with more developing around her genital area on Aug 3.

She was admitted to Chularat 3 International Hospital in Samut Prakan and then transferred to Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, after an official diagnosis was made on Thursday.

Authorities are working to track people thought to be at risk, including the patient's roommate and other friends, Dr Opas said.

He urged everyone to comply with prevention guidelines which include a recommendation to avoid sex with strangers.

Following confirmation of the fourth case in the country, Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt responded to the matter, saying that two people who had been in contact with her have now been put in quarantine for observation.

Mr Chadchart said officials are still tracking down another Nigerian who had close contact with the patient.

Tavida Kamolvej, deputy Bangkok governor, conveyed her thanks to Chularat 3 International Hospital for coordinating with the Public Health Ministry and City Hall after initial concerns were raised about the patient's symptoms, which she said had expedited the track-and-trace operation that followed.

Only two Thais have been confirmed to have contracted the virus.

The first and third cases were Nigerian and German men whose infections had been detected in Phuket, while the second and fourth cases were Thais in Bangkok.

Mr Chadchart also stressed that the incubation period of the disease can last up to 21 days, so anyone concerned about being exposed to the disease should be careful for a month or so.

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