A patient described as Thailand’s first case of monkeypox – despite allegedly being in the kingdom since last October – may have become infected in Thailand. So says the head of the Centre for Medical Genomics at Bangkok’s Ramathibodi Hospital.
Dr. Wasun Chantratita says his theory is based on the Nigerian man’s timeline in the country. It’s understood the man entered Thailand on October 24. After recently testing positive for monkeypox while in Phuket, the man fled the country and was subsequently arrested in Cambodia.
According to a Thai PBS World report, the patient also spent time in the northern province of Chiang Mai, but most of his time was spent on Phuket. On July 16, he presented at a hospital on the island to be tested for a sexually transmitted disease due to blisters on his genitals. He was advised 2 days later that he needed to be treated for monkeypox but never showed up to start his treatment. It’s understood he is now undergoing treatment in Cambodia.
According to Dr Wasun, it’s likely the monkeypox virus was already circulating in Thailand when the Nigerian became infected, but the only way to know for sure would be through genetic sequencing to determine the strain’s genetic makeup. The medic says the symptoms of European strains can differ from those detected in Africa and such testing would determine if the man was carrying the virus when he arrived in Thailand or contracted it here.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World