The Ministry of Health has reminded all citizens to take precautionary measures against the spread of monkeypox and to remain vigilant following the recent outbreak of the disease in 23 countries around the world where it was not previously reported as endemic, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Health minister Mam Bun Heng said on May 31 that there were a total of 257 confirmed cases and 120 suspected cases of monkeypox as of May 26, though none of them had resulted in death as yet.
He said that in addition to the two cases reported from countries in the western Pacific region, another case had now been reported in a passenger arriving in Australia, according to The Sun Daily newspaper published on May 30.
“This person transited through Thailand’s international airport. Therefore, all citizens living in Cambodia should be very careful and participate in the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of monkeypox in accordance with the health ministry’s guidelines,” he announced.
The ministry renewed its call for the public to remain vigilant and that individuals, families and communities must continue to pay attention to the implementation of precautionary measures to protect themselves and others.
According to the health minister, Cambodia has not banned travellers from any country from entering Cambodia. The government has only instructed the staff at the international gateways to remain attentive and carefully monitor the health and appearance of passengers entering the country.
Bun Heng said airport staff should report immediately to the health authorities any passengers that have a rash or blisters on their body with any fever and a history of travel from African countries with endemic monkeypox.
Those countries include Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon.
Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and South Sudan have identified the disease in animals only to date.
“In addition to preventive measures, the health ministry is also working closely with the WHO to find sources to supply monkeypox vaccines if they are needed,” said Bun Heng.
Symptoms of monkeypox disease include a rash with blistering on the body, palms, soles, feet and face accompanied by a fever over 38.5 degrees Celsius. Headaches, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and body pain, waist pain and exhaustion have also been reported as symptoms in some cases.