Thailand to Screen For Marburg Virus at Points of Entry for Certain Travelers

Thailand to Screen For Marburg Virus at Points of Entry for Certain Travelers

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has instructed international disease control checkpoints to screen all arrivals from countries with confirmed cases of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) as a precautionary measure.

The announcement follows the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting the first-ever MVD outbreak on February 13 in Equatorial Guinea.

DDC Director-General Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong said 200 people who are considered to be at high-risk in Equatorial Guinea have been quarantined. In addition, two confirmed cases and 42 likely cases have been reported in Cameroon, which shares a border with Equatorial Guinea.

DDC Deputy Director-General Dr Sophon Iamsirithavorn noted that although MVD has not yet been detected in Thailand, it is classified as one of the 13 dangerous infectious diseases by the Infectious Diseases Act. The country has not yet imposed a travel ban to or from Equatorial Guinea or Cameroon, but screening stepped up for arrivals from the two African countries.

In the case of an arriving passenger being suspected of having contracted MVD, Thai health officials have been instructed to take fluid samples for testing, and to inform the individual of the results within three hours. The incubation period of MVD is 2-21 days, with the onset of symptoms marked by fever, chills, headache and myalgia.

Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, chest pain, sore throat, abdominal pain and diarrhea. As the disease progresses, symptoms may become increasingly severe and can include jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas, severe weight loss, delirium, shock, liver failure, massive hemorrhaging and multi-organ dysfunction.

Equatorial Guinea confirmed its first-ever outbreak of MVD on February 13. Initial tests carried out after the deaths of at least nine people in the country’s eastern Kei Ntem Province turned up positive for the viral hemorrhagic fever on one of the samples.

Information and Source

Reporter : Paul Rujopakarn

Rewriter : Paul Rujopakarn

National News Bureau :