Health departments and authorities in the provinces bordering Thailand and Vietnam are reminding people to remain vigilant and protect themselves from monkeypox, as the two neighbouring countries announced the discovery of new cases.
On October 2, the Thai Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detected two cases of monkeypox in Phuket, bringing the country’s total to 10 cases so far.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health on October 3 reported the first case of monkeypox in Ho Chi Minh City. According to the ministry, it was detected in a 35-year-old woman whose symptoms began on September 18 with fever, fatigue, chills and muscle aches.
In Cambodia, Ratanakkiri provincial health department director Ung Ratana said officials would deploy reinforcements to border entrances and exits, and health officials would examine new arrivals.
“We’ve issued a warning to residents as soon as a case was detected in Vietnam. We intend to strengthen measures at the Ou Ya Dav International Border Checkpoint, which receives regular traffic from Vietnam,” he told The Post on October 4.
Ratana added that health officials are stationed at the checkpoint, and he would instruct them to increase their vigilance.
“It will be necessary to conduct medical examinations of all travellers from Vietnam entering our country. Since the government announced the reopening of the Kingdom, there has been as increase in people coming in and out each day,” he said.
In Oddar Meanchey province, which borders Thailand, provincial authorities will begin similar inspections and precautions.
Provincial deputy governor Di Rado said authorities strictly adhere to the Ministry of Health guidelines to prevent the spread of monkeypox.
“Whenever the ministry issues instructions, the provincial authorities share them with the local population and closely follow the procedures,” he said.
Reached for comment on September 4, health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said she had not received the information.
Citing the Thai CDC, the Bangkok Post reported that one of the two monkeypox-infected patients in Phuket is a German man and the other a Thai woman.
Cambodia has so far recorded a single case of monkeypox – an imported case involving a Nigerian man who fled Thailand after testing positive but who was arrested by the authorities in Phnom Penh before the virus spread.
The 27-year-old was treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital and was deported after testing negative on August 5.
Five people found to have been in contact with the man were immediately placed in isolation and were later discharged after it was determined that they were not infected.