How to stay safe from monkeypox
The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has issued guidelines on how people can protect themselves against becoming infected with monkeypox.
Cases of the disease have now been reported in 15 countries, prompting fears it could spread to Thailand after a surge in tourist arrivals this month as travel restrictions eased.
The DDC has also established an emergency operations centre to monitor the global spread of monkeypox and prevent it from entering the country. The centre is keeping a close eye on foreign arrivals, especially those from high-risk countries that have reported monkeypox cases – namely Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, United States, Canada, Australia, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland and Greece.
“Monkeypox spreads through close contact with infected people or animals,” said DDC Epidemiology Bureau chief Dr Jakrat Phittayawong-anon. He added that no direct treatments are available for the disease, though no cases of monkeypox had been reported in Thailand so far.
“Symptoms to look out for include fever and pus blisters, especially among travellers from central Africa, where the disease originated, and from 15 countries that have reported cases of monkeypox,” Jakrat said.
He added that health-information cards will be handed to all travellers from at-risk countries, asking them to visit the nearest hospital if they suffer monkeypox symptoms, and notify authorities of their travel history.
The DDC’s five simple steps to stay safe from monkeypox:
1. Avoid contact with blood, fluid or pus from mammals.
2. Make sure meat is cooked thoroughly.
3. Wash hands regularly and immediately after touching animals or suspected human cases.
4. Do not keep wild animals as pets.
5. On return from an at-risk country, remain in isolation for 21 days to monitor for symptoms.