Published on: June 1, 2022
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haggishly The Union health ministry released detailed guidelines on surveillance, identification, confirmation, and treatment of the viral infection in the country
What is monkey pox infection?
- The monkey pox virus is a slow-mutating DNA virus that is spread through large respiratory droplets and requires prolonged close contact with a patient for transmission.
- It can also spread through bodily fluids, material from within the skin lesions, and contaminated clothes and linens of an infected person.
- It can take anywhere between five to 21 days after infection for the symptoms to show up, with the person becoming infectious – having the ability to spread the virus – one to two days before the skin rashes develop till after they fall off.
The guidelines issued by the ministry
- For a person to be suspected to have the infection, they must have a history of travel to the affected countries in the last 21 days, an unexplained rash and one of the other symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, body ache, and profound weakness.
- The case will be confirmed only after conducting a PCR test (like the one done for Covid-19) or sequencing the genetic material by sending the patient sample to the National Institute of Virology-Pune.
- Even one case of monkeypox is to be considered as an outbreak. A detailed investigation by the Rapid Response Teams needs to be initiated through The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) – a network that tracks infectious diseases in the country
- The guidelines mention that the network has to keep an eye on travellers from the affected countries for 21 days to see whether they develop symptoms. If they do, their sample would be collected.
- The guidelines also give details on treating skin lesions, dehydration, and alleviating symptoms such as fever, itching, nausea, vomiting, headache, and malaise. It states that during the time of isolation, the patients have to monitor for signs such as pain in eye and blurry vision, shortness of breath and chest pain, altered consciousness, seizures, decreased urine output, poor food intake, and lethargy.
Where are the cases reported?
- Monkeypox cases have now been reported from the USA, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Austria, Israel and Switzerland, among others. This is in addition to countries such as Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, where the disease is endemic.
Is it found in India? – No