All 142 tested have negative for the disease, Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (Chief) Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon announced today (July 24).
The close contact tracing began after health officials became aware that Nigerian national Osmond Chihazirim Nzerem, 27, had tested positive for monkeypox.
“Of the close contacts identified, five had a fever, a cough and a sore throat, but no rash, Dr Kusak said today.
“Regardless, samples were collected for laboratory testing, and all five of them tested negative,” he said.
“But in order to ensure the prevention and control measures, the PPHO staff advised everyone to observe their symptoms. If they develop a fever, they are to see a doctor,” he added.
Of the 19 initial close contacts identified, two tested negative while test results were pending of the remaining 17, he said.
The close contacts have been asked to self-quarantine for 21 days, Dr Kusak added.
“Medical staff are to ask them about symptoms after seven days, 14 days and 21 days, and after 21 days of quarantine, samples will be collected for laboratory testing one more time,” he said.
“Monkeypox is a disease that is not easily contagious. Contact must be through close contact. through direct skin contact with an infected person, from direct contact with blood, secretions, pus or pustules,” Dr Kusak noted.
“Contracting monkeypox can be prevented by wearing a mask. washing your hands often, avoiding touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth with your hands. Watch out for animal bites or scratches. Do not share items with others,” he said.
“Do not come in close contact with monkeypox patients, and this should leave tourists and people still able to travel to Phuket as usual,” he concluded.