Monkeypox not in ‘dangerous’ category yet, says Public Health Ministry
Monkeypox will be considered a “communicable disease under surveillance” for now, the Public Health Ministry said, adding it sees no need to upgrade it to “dangerous communicable disease” yet.
Dr Jakrat Phittayawong-anon, chief of the Department of Disease Control (DDC)’s Epidemiology Bureau, said on Monday that DDC’s Communicable Disease Committee believes the current alert level is fine as the country’s public health system can handle the spread of the disease.
“As per the 2015 Communicable Disease Act, a dangerous communicable disease is defined as one that causes severe symptoms and can be transmitted easily over a short period. Monkeypox does not fit this description yet,” Jakrat said.
“For patients, DDC is coordinating with the Department of Medical Services to issue a standard treatment plan for monkeypox to be followed by all medical units. It is also getting a plan ready in case more patients are found in the country.”
The committee also agreed to upgrade emergency operation centres nationwide to make surveillance and screening of high-risk groups more efficient.
Thailand recorded its first confirmed monkeypox case in Phuket last week. The patient, a 27-year-old Nigerian man, fled to Cambodia and is being treated at a hospital in Phnom Penh.
In Thailand, health authorities are tracing the patient’s close contacts in Phuket, where he stayed for the past month. So far, 27 people who had come in contact with the man have tested negative.
The World Health Organisation declared a global health emergency on Saturday morning after monkeypox was detected in 75 countries.