Reopened Thailand anxiously monitors monkeypox

Disease control officials have set up an emergency operation center to watch out for the new monkeypox virus spreading overseas now that Thailand has reopened its borders.

The center will screen travelers from countries where cases have emerged such as the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal, in order to deter the spread of the disease in the kingdom. 

Director-general Opas Karnkawinpong reiterated that no cases has been reported in Thailand, but that they will closely monitor the situation.

The department reported that this month, there were 13,142 UK travelers, 1,352 from Spain, and 268 from Portugal.

Monkeypox, a variant of the smallpox virus, became a global health concern in early May after it began spreading from a British national returning from Nigeria. Symptoms are similar to those of smallpox, albeit less severe, and can be transmitted through skin contact.

The virus has been found in more than 15 countries worldwide, including the United States.

The health officials warned people to avoid contact with rodents and monkeys, wash their hands frequently, and avoid secretions of animals as well as eating uncooked meat.

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