THE GOVERNMENT issued a warning for people to protect themselves by avoiding risky behaviour as the number of mpox (monkeypox) cases jumped to 48 last month with 38 patients being in Bangkok, Naewna newspaper said today (July 5).
Mr. Anucha Burapachaisri, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister and acting government spokesman, said the 48 mpox cases that emerged in June is 2.3 times higher than the 21 cases reported in May.
Mpox is an emerging infectious disease in Thailand with the first patient found in July last year and the total so far is 91 cases, he added.
Of June’s total of 48 cases, 41 were Thais and 7 foreigners. Aside from 38 cases in Bangkok, there were three in Samut Prakan, two each in Chonburi and Nonthaburi and one each in Samut Sakhon, Phuket and Pathum Thani.
Most of the cases were men with there being a tendency to increase among men who have sex with men.
Of last month’s total, 22 had been treated for HIV, or 45.8%, with most getting infected with mpox through unprotected sex or having a sex with an unacquainted person.
However none of the patients had severe symptoms or had died.
The general public, especially those working in the service and entertainment sectors, were urged to refrain from having close contact with those who have a rash, blisters or pustules, avoid having sex with strangers, stay away from crowded places, wash their hands frequently and not share their personal items.
Initial symptoms include rash or blisters in the genital area, anus, mouth or body. Those who had sex with someone who they suspect was infected with mpox or touched an mpox patient should watch out for these symptoms for 21 days and during this period avoid touching pregnant women, children younger than 12 years of age and those who are immunocompromised.
If they have fever, headache, muscle ache or back pain, swollen lymph nodes such as behind the ears, neck or groin, sore throat, nasal congestion or cough, develop rash, blisters or pustules in the genital area or anus or on their hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth they should immediately get medical treatment.
Top:A colourized transmission of electron micrograph of mpox particles, in red, in an infected cell. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, via Associated Press and published by New York Times
Front Page: A graphic image of mpox virus. Credit: CI Photos/Shutterstock and published by News Medical Life Sciences