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Monkeypox: Govt issues guidelines, stresses on rapid identification, isolation

Monkeypox: Govt issues guidelines, stresses on rapid identification, isolation

Contacts should be monitored at least daily for the onset of signs/symptoms for a period of 21 days (as per case definition) from the last contact with a patient or their contaminated materials during the infectious period, the guidelines added.

There are no reported cases of monkey pox disease in India, as on date, said the government. There are no reported cases of monkey pox disease in India, as on date, said the government.

In a bid to ensure advance nationwide preparedness against Monkeypox disease, which is spreading in non-endemic countries, the Indian government on Tuesday issued guidelines to manage the highly contagious infection.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) stated that it is continuing to maintain a close watch over the evolving situation. “In view of the increasing reports of Monkeypox (MPX) cases in non-endemic countries, as part of a proactive and risk-based approach for management of Monkeypox and to ensure advance preparedness across the country, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued ‘Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease’,” the union health ministry said in a statement. There are no reported cases of monkey pox disease in India, as on date, said the government.

As per the guidelines, a confirmed case is laboratory confirmed for monkeypox virus by detection of unique sequences of viral DNA either by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or sequencing. All the clinical specimens should be transported to the Apex Laboratory of ICMR-NIV (Pune) routed through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network of the respective district/state.

The "Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease" include epidemiology of the disease (including host, incubation period, period of communicability and mode of transmission; contact and case definitions; clinical features and its complication, diagnosis, case management, risk communication, guidance on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) including use of personal protective equipment.

These also on surveillance and rapid identification of new cases as the key public health measures for outbreak containment, mandating need to reduce the risk of human-to-human transmission. It explains the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures, IPC at home, patient isolation and ambulance transfer strategies, additional precautions that needs to be taken care of and duration of isolation procedures.

Further, contacts should be monitored at least daily for the onset of signs/symptoms for a period of 21 days (as per case definition) from the last contact with a patient or their contaminated materials during the infectious period.

Raising awareness of risk factors under risk communication and preventive measures, the Guidelines further explain in detail about raising awareness and educating people about the measures for Monkeypox virus like avoiding contact with any material of the sick person, isolation of infected patient from others, practicing good hand hygiene and using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

Monkeypox has been reported as endemic in several other central and western African countries such as: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone. However, caseshave been also reported in certain non-endemic countries e.g. USA, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Austria, Israel, Switzerland etc.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday assessed the public health risk of Monkeypox at global level as “moderate” considering this is the first time that monkeypox cases and clusters are reported concurrently in widely disparate WHO geographical areas.

As of 26 May, a cumulative total of 257 laboratory confirmed cases and around 120 suspected cases have been reported to WHO from over 23 countries.  The Cases however have been mainly reported amongst MSM, the WHO said that additionally, the sudden appearance and wide geographic scope of many sporadic cases indicates that widespread human-to-human transmission is already underway, and the virus may have been circulating unrecognized for several weeks or longer.