Press "Enter" to skip to content

At the airport in Bangkok, Thai university researchers analyze the wastewater for monkeypox

The Department of Medical Sciences (DMS) in Thailand is cultivating the monkeypox virus in a lab to look into the viability of developing a vaccine against it. Scientists from Naresuan University in the northern district of Phitsanulok are investigating the monkeypox virus in the sewage at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Authorities are speeding up their preventative efforts after Phuket, Thailand, reported the first case of the virus last week and the World Health Organization declared the monkeypox outbreak a “global health emergency” on Saturday after 16,000 cases were detected in 75 countries. Dr. Thanaphon wants to underline that monkeypox can only be contracted through close contact with an infected person. Symptoms include a high temperature, a splitting headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, enlarged lymph nodes, skin rashes, and lesions. The monkeypox virus has been identified in feces between 7 and 14 days after infection, frequently before the infected person displays symptoms, according to research.
According to Dr. Thanaphon Penrat from the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Research Innovation, the strategy is not just preventative but also cost-effective. Despite not being highly contagious, monkeypox does have a 1–10% mortality rate. Testing wastewater at airports and other popular tourist destinations for traces of the disease is the quickest way to spot early-warning signs of monkeypox outbreaks.
Testing for monkeypox before to or while traveling might have severe implications on Thailand’s tourism industry, which has just recently started to recover as a result of the removal of entry restrictions related to Covid-19. The tests’ ability to quickly detect viral residues in wastewater, even before the ill person begins to exhibit symptoms, makes them potentially useful as a “budget monitoring technique” to spot and contain local epidemics in their early stages. Testing wastewater could be a viable technique to check travelers coming in Thailand for monkeypox as opposed to testing everyone who enters the airport.
Testing wastewater could aid in locating and containing the disease before an outbreak occurs. Thai citizens may be inoculated with smallpox vaccines developed more than 40 years ago if there is a monkeypox outbreak in Thailand and the ministry is unable to swiftly procure freshly made vaccines.
According to the DMS, Thailand still has a supply of smallpox vaccines from 1979 and 1980 that are 85 percent effective against monkeypox and are still safe to use.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments