The Songkhla Provincial Public Health Office confirmed the first monkeypox (mpox) case in the region. A 31-year-old Thai man from Songkhla was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, and the diagnosis was made the following day.
The hospital followed the prevention guidelines by isolating the patient. The health office initiated contact tracing, identifying one low-risk and one high-risk contact, while others were advised to self-monitor.
Widespread Impact in Thailand
Tailand has so far recorded 189 mpox cases, with 161 Thai citizens affected. Among them, 82 cases reportedly contracted the disease via sexual contact between homosexual men, with some also having HIV. This group can avoid close contact and regularly wash hands to prevent the spread.
People with mpox may develop a rash on various body parts, including hands, feet, and face, within 21 days of infection. Other symptoms like fever, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle aches are common.
Details of the Fatal Case
A 34-year-old man diagnosed with mpox in Chon Buri province succumbed to the disease on 11 August. The patient, who was also infected with HIV and syphilis, was diagnosed with mpox and later developed additional complications, including a fungal infection and lung and brain infections. Despite treatment, the patient’s condition worsened, and he died two weeks ago. Complications included lung and brain infections, ultimately leading to his death.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare and infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It is similar to smallpox but typically milder. Researchers first discovered the disease in 1958 in monkeys kept for research, hence its name. Transmission to humans can occur through direct contact with infected animals, human-to-human transmission, or contaminated objects.
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A rash develops, often beginning on the face and spreading to other parts of the body.
What to Do If You Develop Symptoms of Monkeypox?
If you or someone you know develops symptoms associated with monkeypox, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, or a rash, it is essential to take the following steps:
- Avoid Close Contact with Others: Isolate yourself as much as possible to prevent the potential spread of the virus to family members, friends, or the wider community.
- Contact a Healthcare Provider: Reach out to a healthcare provider or local health department immediately to report your symptoms. They can provide guidance on the next steps, including testing and treatment.
- Follow Medical Advice: If diagnosed with monkeypox, adhere to the medical advice and treatment plan provided by healthcare professionals. This may include hospitalization, medication, or other supportive care.
- Practice Good Hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face, especially the eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Notify Close Contacts: If you are confirmed to have monkeypox, work with local health authorities to identify and notify people with whom you have been in close contact with recently. This is critical for early detection and containment of the disease.
- Monitor Your Symptoms: Keep track of any changes in your symptoms and report them to healthcare providers. Early intervention can be crucial in the treatment and recovery process.
Monkeypox continues to be a significant concern in Thailand, with a sudden increase in cases. The focus on prevention and monitoring must remain strong to control the spread of this disease. Proper hygiene practices and adherence to guidelines can play a vital role in containing this serious medical condition.
Thailand’s efforts in managing the recent outbreak serve as a valuable lesson for other Asian nations. Continuous vigilance, public education, and appropriate medical responses remain key in combating monkeypox and other infectious diseases in the region.