Thai woman from Dubai confirmed as 5th monkeypox case in Thailand
A Thai woman returning from Dubai on Sunday became the fifth confirmed monkeypox patient in Thailand, the Disease Control Department (DCD) chief said on Monday.
Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the DCD, said the 25-year-old woman was infected in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and she had symptoms before she took a flight back to Thailand so it was easy to detect her condition.
Opas said disease-monitoring officials at Suvarnabhumi Airport spotted the woman with apparent illness and they questioned her and noticed her blisters so they checked her background.
Opas said the woman provided full cooperation to the authorities and she was taken to a hospital before a subsequent lab test confirmed she was infected with monkeypox.
“The patient in this case was infected from abroad because she had symptoms before returning to Thailand,” Opas said.
He said since the woman had likely developed the symptoms abroad, there was no risk of local persons having been in close contact with her, except two foreigners who sat next to her on the flight.
Opas added that statistics from other countries showed that passengers sitting next to the infected passengers did not get the disease because monkeypox did not spread easily.
The Public Health Ministry would try to locate the two foreign passengers for checking as part of comprehensive preventive measures, Opas added.
Opas said the monkeypox virus was not airborne and the virus would spread only by physical or sexual contact and so far, none of the people in close contact with the four previous patients were found to have been infected.
Opas said that the Public Health Ministry had informed Dubai of the case as required by the guidelines of the World Health Organisation.