Ministry of Health elevates monkeypox warnings amid global increase in cases

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A person infected with monkeypox. WHO

The Ministry of Health once again reminded the general public to take extra precautions and continue to prevent the spread of monkeypox, as the disease was reported to be on the rise in countries around the world, in the region and in neighbouring countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on July declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern and called on all countries to exercise increased caution against the disease and to track it and maintain preventive health measures.

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng on August 5 issued another letter cautioning the public against the spread of monkeypox, citing reports of it in various countries around the world.

He said that as of August 3, 25,054 cases of Monkepox had been reported globally - an increase of 62.80 per cent, compared to the figure of 15,734 cases as of July 21 and the death toll was 11- an increase of 100 per cent, compared to the death toll of 5 on July 21. And it was now present in 85 countries, an increase of 10 countries compared to July 21 with 75 countries, according to the WHO.

The letter said that, according to the WHO and epidemiological investigations into the ongoing spread, most reported cases of monkeypox were sexually transmitted, and overwhelmingly among same-sex persons (male and male) with many sexual partners, especially those with a history of travel to countries in Africa, Europe and North America or other countries where the disease has broken out.

Thailand on August 5 reported its fourth case of monkeypox in a 22-year-old woman who had been in contact with foreign men at an entertainment club.

The Ministry of Health told the general population to exercise increased caution and maintain preventive health measures and maintain a high standard of hygiene. They have to avoid close contact with infected people or people with suspected cases, including sexual contact, until they've completely recovered.

He advised that they must avoid touching the belongings of the patient or suspected patients, such as clothes, mattresses, pillows, plates, spoons or glasses of water and wash their laundry and their dishes separately.

Suspected patients in an asymptomatic state should not be subject to quarantine and they can work normally, just be careful not to touch others during a 21-day follow-up period after contact with the infected person.

He advised that they have to eat well-cooked and hygienic foods and avoid contact with animals (live or dead) and maintain good hand hygiene.

They must not touch any part of the body of the infected person and wash their hands immediately with soap or alcohol if they do.

“Anyone who develops a rash and fever and any of the above-mentioned symptoms should immediately consult a doctor nearby and they have to self-isolate until a clear diagnosis is made along with laboratory analysis,” Bun Heng advised.