Thailand’s first monkeypox patient has gone missing
An unidentified 27-year-old Nigerian man went missing after receiving a positive monkeypox test result in Thailand on Monday (Jul 18).
Last weekend, a patient with symptoms resembling those of monkeypox attended a private hospital in Phuket, a renowned tourist destination.
On Saturday, a blood sample was taken from the patient and swabs were taken for laboratory testing, according to health officials. On Monday evening, the verdict was in favour.
Dr Koosak Kookiatkul, head of the Phuket Public Health Office said “On Jul 18, at about 6pm, we knew the result from the first laboratory test at Chulalongkorn University. After learning the result, the hospital called the patient to arrange his transfer for medical treatments but he refused and switched off his phone,”
After arriving in Thailand on October 21, 2021, the patient lived in a Patong condominium until November, Phuket’s health official said. In the province, he was a frequent visitor to local entertainment establishments.
The patient was instructed to quarantine his residence after his July 16th visit to the hospital.
Nevertheless, Dr Koosak claims that closed-circuit camera footage shows him checking into a Patong hotel on Jul. 18 after being informed of the positive test result.
Even though he was still there on July 19, he would not allow anyone clean his room. Dr. Koosak said he departed the hotel at 9 p.m. by putting his room key in the reception.
Since Monday, health officials and local authorities have been following the patient to ensure that he receives medical attention and that the disease does not spread. There is an active case-finding and contact-tracing component to their work as well.
Two distinct clades of monkeypox virus have been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO), the West African and Congo Basin/Central African clades.
“The Congo Basin clade appears to cause severe disease more frequently with case fatality ratio (CFR) previously reported of up to around 10 per cent,”
“The West African clade has in the past been associated with an overall lower CFR of around 1 per cent in a generally younger population in the African setting. Since 2017, the few deaths of persons with monkeypox in West Africa have been associated with young age or an untreated HIV infection,” it added.
As per DDC director general Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, the Nigerian patient has West African clade infection.
“Based on the disease investigation carried out with two high-risk contacts – the patients’ friends who have not exhibited any symptoms – monkeypox was not detected,” according to a press conference at the Ministry of Public Health on Friday.
“Nevertheless, they have to be monitored or quarantined for 21 days. More searches for patients have to be conducted in areas at risk such as the entertainment venues they had visited. Meanwhile, the investigation team has disinfected the patient’s room,” he explained