Thailand's eighth confirmed monkeypox case has been found in a 23-year-old Thai national who returned from Qatar on Tuesday. Two more people are considered to be in an at-risk group, the chief of the Department of Disease Control said yesterday.
Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, the director-general, said the patient was a service provider in Qatar and had not had a prior chronic illness before becoming infected with monkeypox. Dr Opas did not disclose the gender of the patient.
The illness caused the person to return home, and they were later admitted to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province.
Dr Opas said the patient had had sex with a man who had pimple-like blisters on his back. The patient first showed symptoms on Thursday last week. The symptoms included fever, shivering, headache, fatigue, muscle ache, backache, loss of appetite and about 15 blisters on the hands, arm, armpits, back, buttocks and anus.
After their arrival in the Kingdom on Tuesday, the person met two Thai friends. The patient kept their belongings in one friend's room, shared a meal and used the bathroom there. The patient then left their baggage with the other friend, but did not enter the room. Neither friend had contact with the patient's skin or blisters, Dr Opas said.
On Wednesday the returnee sought an examination at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute and a test returned positive for monkeypox.
"The patient has had symptoms since being overseas... Since returning, the patient has not visited any communities or crowded places. The person saw a doctor when suspicious symptoms were found," Dr Opas said.
As of Sunday, there were 54,709 monkeypox cases worldwide, including 18 fatalities. Most cases were in Europe.
Dr Opas also said that monkeypox was neither highly contagious nor severe. People can prevent infection by avoiding close contact with those who have a fever and blisters. He said monkeypox can also be avoided by not having sex with strangers, he said. The disease is now considered endemic in central and western Africa.