NEW DELHI: In the wake of the rising cases of Monkeypox in the country, Union Health Ministry on Wednesday released guidelines to prevent the spread of Monkeypox disease.
The Ministry, in its official communication, informed that there was no reported case of the Monkeypox virus in India till May 31, 2022. However, India needs to be prepared in view of the increasing reports of cases in non-endemic countries.
Monkeypox (MPX) is a viral zoonotic disease with symptoms similar to smallpox, although with less clinical severity. MPX was first discovered in 1958 in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name 'Monkeypox.'
The first human case of Monkeypox was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1970. The Monkeypox Virus primarily occurs in Central and West Africa. In 2003, the first Monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa was reported in the United States of America, which was linked to contact with infected pet prairie dogs. These pets had been housed with Gambian pouched rats and dormice that had been imported into the country from Ghana.
Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases occur more commonly among children and are related to the extent of virus exposure, patient health status and nature of complications.
It is known to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets generally requiring prolonged close contact. It can also be transmitted through direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, and indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated clothing or linens of an infected person.
It may occur by a bite or scratch of infected animals like small mammals including rodents (rats, squirrels) and non-human primates (monkeys, apes) or through bush meat preparation.
A person of any age having a history of travel to affected countries within the last 21 days presenting with an unexplained acute rash and one or more of the following signs or symptoms:
Prodrome (0-5 days)
b. Lymphadenopathy. Typically occurs with fever onset. Periauricular, axillary, cervical or inguinal. Unilateral or bilateral
c. Headache, muscle aches, exhaustion
d. Chills and/or sweats
e. Sore throat and cough
Skin involvement (rash)
a. Usually begins within 1-3 days of fever onset, lasting for around 2-4 weeks
b. Deep-seated, well-circumscribed and often develop umbilication
c. Lesions are often described as painful until the healing phase when they become itchy (in the crust stage)
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The Ministry further laid down these guidelines:
A combination of standard, contact and droplet precautions should be applied in all healthcare settings when a patient presents with fever and vesicular/pustular rash. In addition, because of the theoretical risk of airborne transmission of the Monkeypox virus, airborne precautions should be applied as per risk assessment.
In the wake of the rising cases of Monkeypox in the country, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday assured citizens not to panic and said that an awareness campaign is being run in collaboration with the state governments to prevent the spread of the infection.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday during the ongoing Monsoon session of the Parliament, the Union Minister said, "There is no need to be afraid of Monkeypox, an awareness campaign is being run in collaboration with the state governments: Public awareness is very necessary for the context of Monkeypox. We have also formed a task force under the chairmanship of a member of NITI Aayog on behalf of the Government of India."
"On the basis of the observations of the task force, we will assess and study the further action to be taken. If the state government of Kerala needs any kind of help from the Central government, it will be given. Also, an expert team of the Central government is guiding the state government from time to time," he said.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)