Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said monkeypox could be deadly because the lesions can progress to cover a patient completely, leading to complications affecting the organs in the human body.
She said that although Cambodia has not yet reported any monkeypox cases, the public must remain vigilant as everyone lives with the presence of bacteria and viruses in the environment, and any living thing could carry or transmit them, especially animals.
“Monkeypox could cause deaths – one of the 10 patients so far have died because the lesions progressed and damaged their internal organs as they were neglected. If monkeypox isn’t treated, it can kill people,” she said on May 26.
Vandine called on everyone to prevent its spread in Cambodia despite there being no cases reported here yet because the disease is invisible and could strike at any time.
“The possibility of infection can occur at any time, and we know that so far the infection is through contact with animals, especially monkeys and other mammals that carry the virus. Once we come in contact with it, it infects us, and everyone needs to learn about the symptoms of this disease,” she said.
She emphasised that if the patients get treatment, it will heal in two to three weeks and the ulcers will go away.
Health minister Mam Bun Heng has introduced monkeypox preventive measures practise, including good personal hygiene by washing hands with soap or alcohol-based gel and minimising contact with persons who have any symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing or sneezing.
“We have to avoid close contact with persons who have this disease and to especially avoid sexual contact with at-risk individuals and to avoid touching their skin in areas where lesions are present until the person is treated and they are healed,” he said.
The minister advised all health facilities, both public and private, to raise awareness among hospital attendants and health workers about preventing the spread of this disease.
He said that health workers in particular should implement strict personal care measures and be careful with proper infection controls in all hospitals.