PREPARES FOR POSSIBLE MONKEYPOX OUTBREAK - LAOS
VIENTIANE, JULY 27, 2022: The Lao Health Ministry will work with concerned parties to deal with a possible outbreak of monkeypox cases, through surveillance and preparation of medical equipment including a laboratory equipped to identify the virus.
Concerns over the virus are mounting in Laos after cases of monkeypox were detected in neighboring countries, such as Singapore and Thailand.
Cases of the virus are rare and the symptoms are usually mild and disappear without any need for treatment, Rattanaxay Phetsouvanh, director general of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under the Lao Ministry of Health, told a press conference on July 26, 2022.
However, the symptoms can be severe in some people, such as children, pregnant women, or those with a weakened immune system due to another health condition.
Rattanaxay said no cases of monkeypox have been reported in Laos but hospitals in the Lao capital Vientiane are being alerted to the possibility of cases and the unlikely event of an outbreak.
The Health Ministry is collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO), which is monitoring the situation and will report on developments.
Health workers will be screening people entering Laos and asking them about their travel history. People who have spent time in at-risk areas, which are mostly in Africa, will not be allowed to enter Laos, said Rattanaxay.
Monkeypox is a viral disease found mostly in central and western Africa.
Monkeypox cases in humans have occurred outside of Africa linked to international travel or imported animals, including in the United States, Israel, Australia, India and Britain.
The WHO said available information suggests that human-to-human transmission is occurring among people in close physical contact with cases who are symptomatic.
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@ Jackie San