A 34-year-old Thai man died last week reportedly from monkeypox, marking the first monkeypox-related death for Thailand, according to Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control.
Dr. Tares revealed on Monday, August 14th, that the patient sought treatment at a private hospital in Chonburi around July 11th, 2023, after he developed a headache, itching, rash, and bumps on his body. He was diagnosed with monkeypox, HIV, and syphilis.
He had later suffered a sore throat due to a fungal infection, which is an opportunistic infection associated with HIV. Additionally, he suffered rashes all over his body due to monkeypox.
After completing four weeks of treatment, the patient was allowed to return home.
However, on August 9th, the patient experienced weakness and difficulty breathing. Relatives took him to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province.
By then, skin rashes from monkeypox spread throughout his body, and he had dead tissues on his nose and throat. He also had infections in his limbs, lungs, and brain, as well as severe immunodeficiency.
The patient was administered monkeypox antiviral medication along with antibiotics. Despite the treatment, his condition deteriorated, and he passed away on the night of August 11th.
Dr Tares said that monkeypox is an emerging infectious disease in Thailand. As of August 8th, 2023, there have been reports of 189 cases, with 161 cases among Thai nationals and 28 cases among foreigners.
The outbreak is on the rise, initially detected in the Bangkok metropolitan area before spreading to other provinces. The majority of patients are males engaging in same-sex relationships with a stranger who is already infected with the disease, and around 43% of cases are co-infected with HIV.
Globally, there have been 152 reported deaths from monkeypox since the start of the outbreak in Europe in 2022.
Global health authorities are now using the term “Mpox” to refer to the disease. The origin of this illness is reported to have been from Africa.