Monkey Pox - WHO declares it as an international emergency

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Monkey Pox - WHO declares it as an international emergency

Post by Gaybutton »

So far there has been only one case reported in Thailand. Hopefully there will be no more, but that certainly is no guarantee it will stay that way. Your guess is as good as mine regarding what to expect if it does become a problem in Thailand, especially on top of a significant upsurge in Covid cases.
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Govt on high monkeypox alert

Surveillance boost after WHO steps in

July 25, 2022

Thailand is considering raising further its health alert for monkeypox by listing it as a so-called "serious communicable disease", after the viral disease was classified as a new public health emergency worthy of international concern.

World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday declared monkeypox as "A Public Health Emergency of International Concern" and urged member countries to find effective methods that do not stigmatise target groups.

Full article: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... ypox-alert
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Monkeypox explained: How to protect yourself and what to watch out for

by Dustin Jones, NPR

July 24, 2022

The World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, but it's not a disease that the general public has been familiar with.

For well over a decade, members of the scientific community have been concerned about the potential of a monkeypox epidemic.

With nearly 16,000 reported cases worldwide and counting, here's what you need to know about monkeypox, how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you have it.

What exactly is monkeypox?

Besides the reference to wildlife, the only similarity between monkeypox and chickenpox is that they're a virus. Instead, monkeypox is most similar to smallpox, which was eradicated through global vaccination efforts in 1980.

The two viruses are from the orthopoxvirus family. Monkeypox is not as transmissible or fatal as smallpox. However, some researchers worry that monkeypox could mutate and become a greater threat to humans.

One study published in 2008 warned that if monkeypox were to be introduced to an unvaccinated population, the virus could capitalize on the situation and become an epidemic.

"Although smallpox has been eradicated from the human population since 1980, there is the potential for monkeypox to fill this void," the study says. "An extended chain of person-to-person transmissions of monkeypox in 2003 in the Republic of Congo reveals the potential of further adaptation of the virus to become a more successful human pathogen."

Before the 2022 outbreak, nearly all monkeypox cases found outside of Africa – where some rodents and non-human primates potentially carry the virus – were tied to international travel and imported animals.

The reason it's called monkeypox is because it was first discovered in colonies of monkeys used for research in 1958. But that doesn't mean it originated with the animals as the source of the disease remains unknown, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Within the U.S., the only outbreak was in 2003, when 47 confirmed and probable cases were discovered in six states. That outbreak was tied to pet prairie dogs that came into contact with infected rodents housed nearby, including several species of squirrels, mice and rats, the CDC said at the time.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox:

* fever
* headaches
* muscle aches
* a lack of energy

A rash can also be present, resembling pimples and pus-filled blisters, the CDC says. It can develop all over the human body, including face, feet, hands, genitals and inside the mouth.

It's important to note that doctors are seeing a subtler rash in some patients. Some individuals developed only a single lesion that could be mistaken for a symptom of sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes or syphilis, NPR has reported.

"I think that's actually supercritical," infectious disease doctor Donald Vinh at McGill University told NPR last month. "Because you can see how these patients can be missed. But they are still contagious and may propagate the disease."

The CDC says the rash typically lasts two to four weeks and that some individuals develop it before the onset of other symptoms, while others may experience only the rash.

How deadly is monkeypox?

The good news is the version of monkeypox spreading across the globe — the West African type — isn't particularly deadly. According to the CDC, more than 99% of patients can expect to survive.

However, an infection could prove fatal in children under the age of 8, individuals with compromised immune systems and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The most common outcome following an infection is scarring from the rash. But more serious complications can arise, according to research of monkeypox in humans published in 2009, including pulmonary distress and bronchopneumonia. The virus can also lead to eye infections and corneal scarring, which in serious cases can result in permanent vision loss.

How does the virus spread?

The CDC says the risk of contracting monkeypox in the U.S. is "believed to be low," but anyone who comes into close contact with an individual carrying the disease is at risk of infection.

The current outbreak is spreading from human-to-human contact. You could develop an infection from droplet respiratory particles by spending too much time face-to-face with a monkeypox carrier, the WHO warns.

The virus also spreads through physical contact, including touching a lesion, as well as the exchange of some bodily fluids like saliva. An individual could become infected by touching items and surfaces shared with someone exhibiting symptoms.

How do I protect myself?

As the virus can spread through skin-to-skin contact, the CDC advises people to exercise caution in situations where one can't maintain some sense of personal space and bumping into others is impractical. In places where clothing is minimal and you could experience that contact, such as crowded raves and clubs, the risk goes up.

Potentially contaminated items like bedding, clothes and towels should be contained until you have time to do your laundry, the CDC recommends. Be sure to frequently wash your hands with soap and water as you're cleaning and dispose of all cleaning materials when you're done.

Another way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe is to stay up-to-date on the spread of the virus in your area. You can do so by checking the CDC map, which tracks monkeypox cases by state, as well as state and local health department alerts.

Monkeypox isn't considered a sexually transmitted disease, but the CDC says researchers are still trying to sort out whether the virus can be found in semen, vaginal fluids and feces. Sexually active individuals should be open about their potential exposure to the virus, and ask your partner or partners to do the same.

Pregnant carriers who are about to give birth are advised to have C-sections to mitigate the risk of transmitting the virus to their newborns. Additionally, there have been reports of preterm deliveries, pregnancy loss and stillbirths.

What should I do if I'm experiencing symptoms?

Whether you're actively experiencing symptoms or believe you've come into contact with a potential carrier, the first step is to isolate yourself to prevent the spread of the virus. Then, reach out to a health care provider who will determine whether you should be tested.

However, getting a test can be easier said than done. Scientists have told NPR the outbreak in the U.S. is bigger than the official case count, with one calling the testing situation "abysmal."

The WHO is advising people to isolate themselves for three weeks from the time they believe they may have been exposed and to limit contact with others while awaiting test results.

Your health care provider will explain what to do should you test positive for monkeypox. According to the WHO, the virus should run its course, and symptoms should clear up on their own in two to four weeks without the need for treatment.

If you're experiencing the tell-tale symptoms, here are some tips from the WHO:

* Avoid scratching your skin
* Keep the skin dry and uncovered
* Clean the skin with sterilized water or antiseptics
* Take a warm bath with baking soda or Epsom salts for lesions on the body
* For lesions in the mouth, use a saltwater rinse like you would for canker sores

If you live in a shared household, isolate in your room and if possible, use a designated bathroom. Use separate eating utensils, towels and electronics, and do your own laundry. Open your windows whenever possible for good ventilation, but avoid sweeping and vacuuming, which could disturb virus particles found on the floors and lead to further infections.

What about vaccines?

The U.S. uses two types of smallpox vaccine to fight monkeypox as past data suggest these vaccines could be 85% effective against that virus as well. In the current outbreak, the CDC says there is no available data on the effectiveness of either vaccine.

The CDC says those who have been exposed to monkeypox and haven't had a smallpox vaccine within three years should get one sooner than later. The agency recommends individuals get inoculated within four days of exposure and no later than two weeks to reduce symptoms.

Side effects of the vaccines can include mild fever, tiredness and swollen glands as well as redness and itching at the inoculation site.

Unfortunately, there's a limited supply of one of the vaccines — more are expected to be made available in the coming weeks and months — and the other shouldn't be taken by individuals with some skin conditions, those with a weakened immune system and people who are pregnant.


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Re: Monkey Pox - WHO declares it as an international emergency

Post by Jun »

Case numbers in England, as of 20 July

Female: 13
Male: 2001 (99.35%)
Reported deaths zero

Also, some sample data:
Metric N (%)
Gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men* 549 (96.5%)
Travel abroad prior to symptom (21 days) 173 (30.3%)
Age below 30 years 98 (22.9%)
History of STI in the last year 313 (55.6%)
One or no sexual partners in last 3 months 82 (14.5%)
10+ sexual partners in last 3 months 176 (31.1%)
Living with HIV 149 (27.7%)
On HIV treatment (among living with HIV) 148 (99.3%)
Ever used PrEP (among HIV negative) 297 (79.2%)

(Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... -briefings)

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Re: Monkey Pox - WHO declares it as an international emergency

Post by 2lz2p »

Jun wrote:
Mon Jul 25, 2022 2:19 pm
Case numbers in England, as of 20 July

Female: 13
Male: 2001 (99.35%)
Reported deaths zero

Also, some sample data:
Metric N (%)
Gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men* 549 (96.5%)
Travel abroad prior to symptom (21 days) 173 (30.3%)
Age below 30 years 98 (22.9%)
History of STI in the last year 313 (55.6%)
One or no sexual partners in last 3 months 82 (14.5%)
10+ sexual partners in last 3 months 176 (31.1%)
Living with HIV 149 (27.7%)
On HIV treatment (among living with HIV) 148 (99.3%)
Ever used PrEP (among HIV negative) 297 (79.2%)

(Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... -briefings)
Emphasis Added

Recently, Prof Andy Barraclough provided a presentation on Monkey Pox to the Pattaya City Expats Club. One of his slides had the following:
It is NOT a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)

BUT, it can be transmitted during sex

It is transmitted by skin to skin contact – which usually occurs during sex, but does NOT need sex to be transmitted

Do NOT overemphasize the MSM element – in many countries the only walk-in clinics still operating are sexual diseases clinics – its the only place to get any treatment – so reporting is skewed
Emphasis Added

During his presentation of this slide he emphasized that reports by STD clinics may cause the numbers to be skewed as non-gay men will use them to avoid a long wait get diagnosis and treatment from medical facilities that require appointments and often long waits. Overall it was a very good presentation and worth viewing on the PCEC's YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CZ4u5SpZMY.

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Re: Monkey Pox - WHO declares it as an international emergency

Post by Gaybutton »

Again, fortunately so far there has been only one case reported in Thailand and that person, for whatever reason, tried to escape. He had arrived from Nigeria. He was caught in Cambodia and apparently is now undergoing treatment.

No further reports in Thailand - yet.

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Re: Monkey Pox - WHO declares it as an international emergency

Post by Jun »

I'm fairly sure the UKHSA would not fiddle the stat that shows 99.35% of infections in England are male.

One could question the rest of it, but there is a fairly limited number of ways to explain why, for every female infection there are 154 male infections.


Gaybutton wrote:
Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:20 pm
Again, fortunately so far there has been only one case reported in Thailand and that person, for whatever reason, tried to escape. He had arrived from Nigeria.
My main concern would be people interacting with the local MB population. I don't see many Nigerians on Grindr in Thailand, or in the gay bars, so perhaps he is low risk.
Infection coming from Europe is higher risk, but perhaps the people who are promiscuous at home are less likely to travel to Thailand looking for MBs.

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Re: Monkey Pox - WHO declares it as an international emergency

Post by whitedesire »

From my experience in the UK this is being spread by young gay people (I say young but I think they are including people even in their 40s) in crowded areas such as orgies and even gay festivals. It was highlighted that a few cases occurred after gay pride or festival in Spain somewhere. It may be, in some cases, these scenarios haven't unfolded in some areas of the world yet because of the covid restrictions, for instance Babylon hasn't opened up since Covid which would be a typical place to pick it up, whereas in Europe everything has basically opened up and near enough back to normal, its taking its time elsewhere. In some gay establishments in the UK, they are taking your temperature before you go in, saunas and such like.

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Re: Monkey Pox - WHO declares it as an international emergency

Post by Jun »

whitedesire wrote:
Mon Jul 25, 2022 9:44 pm
From my experience in the UK this is being spread by young gay people (I say young but I think they are including people even in their 40s)
Broadly supported by the data.

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Re: Monkey Pox - WHO declares it as an international emergency

Post by Gaybutton »

Those UK statistics are a bit scary. I hope we won't have to find out the hard way if similar statistics would occur if this disease starts spreading around in Thailand. It seems as if every time one serious disease is brought under control, Mother Nature provides a new one. But right now it's two diseases we have to worry about. Monkey Pox and the various strains of Covid. Thailand takes an aggressive approach to trying to prevent and control the spread of such diseases. All we can do is hope their efforts succeed.

I, for one, do not intend to live in fear of these, or any other diseases that might kill me. But I intend to respect them and do what I can on a practical basis to prevent getting them - meaning keeping up with the injections and boosters, continue wearing the face masks (as most Thais are still doing), using the disinfectant hand lotions, avoiding crowds, and not wasting time about getting to a doctor if I start experiencing any of the symptoms.
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Capital on alert for monkeypox

City Hall focusing on at-risk locations

by Mongkol Bangprapa

26 July, 2022

City Hall is on full alert for monkeypox infections in at-risk areas in the capital, including locations where foreign tourists gather in large numbers.

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt on Monday called a meeting of City Hall executives to discuss preparations for monkeypox infections after the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday declared monkeypox as "A Public Health Emergency of International Concern".

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Chadchart said that public health personnel will be educated about the disease while health service centres, clinics and hospitals in Bangkok will be instructed to watch out for anyone suspected of contracting the disease.

The Thai Hotels Association will also be asked to tell all hotels in Bangkok to look out for and report suspected cases to City Hall's district offices, Mr Chadchart said.

Pharmacies in the capital will also be asked to do the same, he said.

"No cases of monkeypox have been reported in Bangkok yet," Mr Chadchart said.

"However, a close watch is being kept on at-risk communities, such as in Soi Nana where Nigerian nationals gather."

The Ministry of Public Health on Sunday raised surveillance measures nationwide in response to the WHO's announcement.

This came after the detection of the first confirmed case in the country, a Nigerian tourist who fled to neighbouring Cambodia after he was found to have the disease before being detained there.

Pol Col Rung Thongmon, chief of the immigration office in Sa Kaeo, said that Cambodian authorities told him that the Nigerian man is being treated for monkeypox in a hospital in Phnom Penh.

After he recovers, he will be indicted in a Cambodian court for illegal entry, Pol Col Rung said.

Meanwhile, tracing of the Nigerian man's close contacts in Phuket where he stayed for the past month continues.

The province's health chief Koosak Kukiatikul said on Monday that investigators were involved in active case finding on the island.

Dr Supakit Sirilak, director-general of the Department of Medical Sciences, said on Monday that tests conducted on 27 people who came into close contact with the Nigerian tourist came back negative.

Dr Supakit also said that under the Animals' Pathogens and Toxins Act, only biosafety level-3 laboratories are allowed to conduct testing for monkeypox.

However, the department will ask Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to approve a new announcement which will allow level-2 laboratories to conduct testing, though these laboratories will be required to take additional precautionary measures, he said.

With the ministry's approval, most of the laboratories nationwide, which are at Level 2, can conduct testing, though their testing capabilities will be checked by the department first, Dr Supakit said.

He also denied a report that certain strains of monkeypox could spread through the air while adding that Covid-19 precautions such as frequent hand-washing, and maintaining physical distance, can also be applied to prevent monkeypox transmissions.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Monday that despite no additional detection of infections linked to the case of the Nigerian national, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has still instructed the Public Health Ministry and related agencies to be on high alert.

In particular, the Immigration Bureau was ordered to keep an eye out for arrivals from at-risk countries, Mr Thanakorn said.

Dr Yong Poovorawan, head of the Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, on Monday posted on Facebook that monkeypox is not a serious disease, with a fatality rate of less than 3:10,000.

The disease is transmitted through close contact, so it is likely to be passed on during sex, he posted.

"Any disease that is transmitted through contact during sex is hard to control or eliminate, and so is monkeypox," Dr Yong posted. "The only way is to administer effective vaccines to as many people as possible. We will have to continue to live with this disease."

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... -monkeypox

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Re: Monkey Pox - WHO declares it as an international emergency

Post by Jun »

Bangkok Post wrote:
Tue Jul 26, 2022 6:47 am
Dr Yong Poovorawan, head of the Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, on Monday posted on Facebook that monkeypox is not a serious disease, with a fatality rate of less than 3:10,000.
So less than a 1 in 3333 risk of a fatality if catching this.

The odds of catching it are quite low at present, since if you're in Thailand, no one is known to have it.
If you're in the UK, the stats suggest people of a certain age aren't sleeping around much. Perhaps some other countries are similar. :oops:

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Re: Monkey Pox - WHO declares it as an international emergency

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Tue Jul 26, 2022 3:12 pm
So less than a 1 in 3333 risk of a fatality if catching this.
That doesn't mean it's a good idea to just throw the precautions to the wind. Even if there is zero chance of a fatality, it's not a disease I would want or would want to have to go through.

Do what you want, but I intend to take all the precautions. If I do catch it, it won't be because I didn't try my best to avoid it.

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