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FRIDAY, September 30, 2022
Nigerian tourist diagnosed with monkeypox in Phuket still missing

Nigerian tourist diagnosed with monkeypox in Phuket still missing

FRIDAY, July 22, 2022

Thailand’s first monkeypox patient, a 27-year-old Nigerian national in Phuket, was only diagnosed on Tuesday (July 19) after he sought treatment for genital boils at a private clinic three days earlier.

Dr Kusak Kukiatkul, chief of the Phuket public health office, said the patient had reportedly returned to his condo after visiting the hospital on July 16, and then shifted to a hotel the same day. He then took a taxi from the hotel on Wednesday night and has not been seen since. Local authorities are tracking down the taxi to find out where the man may be so he can be taken in for treatment, Kusak added.

Records show that the man arrived in Thailand on October 21, 2021, and has been living in the Kathu district until present day. Kusak has advised people not to panic as monkeypox is not as easily transmissible as Covid-19.

“One needs to be in direct contact with the patients’ bodily fluids or have intimate physical contact to get infected,” he said.

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) said on Friday that the two persons who may have come into contact with the patient have shown no symptoms and have tested negative. They have, however, been told to remain in isolation for 21 days for observation.

Over the past week, the patient visited two entertainment venues, and up to 142 people were at these venues at the same time. Of them, six have shown symptoms of fever and sore throat but their blood test has shown no traces of the virus. They are also under observation in isolation for 21 days.

The DDC said it will continue to track down others who may have come in contact with the patient and that it has disinfected the condominium and hotel where the patient had been staying.

Monkeypox is endemic to West and Central Africa and before May 2022, it was rarely seen outside Africa. However, some cases were spotted in 2003 in the US, while an outbreak was confirmed in the United Kingdom in May with 1552 cases confirmed.