Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Monkeypox on the rise, says WHO

Monkeypox on the rise, says WHO

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said at a press conference last year. Heng Chivoan

Monkeypox on the rise, says WHO

The number of new monkeypox cases across the world increased by 48 per cent from July 18-24, with 73 per cent sexually transmitted, according to a top health official, citing the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said it had been found that 98 per cent of those infected were men who have sex with men (MSM).

"I would like to emphasise that the nature of monkeypox infection is not as fast as that of Covid-19. It is caused by direct person-to-person contact with someone infected with monkeypox, or contact with monkeypox blisters or scabs.

"This means people need to avoid direct contact with the infected or people suspected of being infected,” she said on July 28.

Last week, the WHO declared that the monkeypox outbreak represented "a public health emergency of international concern". The announcement is due to findings of the incidence of monkeypox having been on the rise recently.

As of July 22, 75 countries in six regions had reported cases of monkeypox.

Vandine also confirmed that the 27-year-old Nigerian monkeypox patient being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh was recovering.

Vandine called on people to be vigilant, especially those who have had direct contact with the Nigerian patient.

"We found the Nigerian patient and have already found five people in Phnom Penh who have had direct contact with him. But we do not know if he has told us everything about those he has been in contact with, particularly sexual partners, as it is generally not easy to tell others about this.

"Therefore, those known to have had direct contact with him must isolate themselves and monitor their health,” she urged.

Cambodia found the monkeypox patient – the Kingdom's first imported case – on the night of July 23, while the five people have been isolated for up to 21 days to monitor their health.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the spread of monkeypox around the world was the reason for declaring a public health emergency of international concern.

He tweeted that the outbreak of monkeypox was concentrated among MSM, especially those with multiple sexual partners.

It was therefore essential, he cautioned, that all countries work closely with MSM communities to design and deliver effective information and services, and to adopt measures that protect the health, human rights and dignity of affected communities.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, severe headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches and blisters, rashes on the face, the palms of the hand, the soles of the feet, mouth, genitals and eyes, with the rash lasting several weeks.


  • All Covid restrictions for inbound travellers lifted

    Cambodia has apparently taken the final step towards full reopening of the country without Covid-19 restrictions by removing all requirements for inbound travellers, who until now had to show health certificates indicating that they have tested Covid-19 negative in the past 72 hours as well as

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Cambodia stands firm on 5PC: No invite for Myanmar to ASEAN Summit this year

    Cambodia has not invited Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), to the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related meetings scheduled for next month in Phnom Penh. The government will instead invite a non-political representative from Myanmar

  • Mushrooming borey projects and home financing – a cause for concern?

    A spurt in housing developments is typically a sign of a growing economy but underneath all that might lay some anxiety of credit growth as developers offer financing to buyers at higher rates, an activity the central bank identifies as ‘shadow banking’ Earlier this year,

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They

  • Hun Sen’s rare visit to Cuba: What’s going on?

    Back on August 17, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that he would deliver a speech at the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA) at the UN headquarters in the US’ New York City, visit Cuba and attend the state funeral of the slain Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo