Wednesday, 07 December 2022

Indian government set to issue guidelines on monkeypox soon

Indian government set to issue guidelines on monkeypox soon

India's health and family welfare ministry will issue comprehensive guidelines later this week to treat and prevent monkeypox amid the start of the viral disease, with nearly 100 confirmed cases globally.

The decision was taken in a meeting held on Monday attended by officials from the WHO and ICMR.

NCDC, clinicians, and the health ministry to firm up standard operating procedures for travelers who show symptoms of monkeypox after returning from monkeypox-affected countries.

The detailed guidelines will include surveillance strategies, lab tests, symptoms, prevention, identifying sick patients at airports, and reporting to community awareness and hospitals.

As per WHO, more than 92 cases have been reported from a dozen countries. "We should not be concerned about monkeypox but vigilant.

ICMR and the Ministry of health are developing the guidelines for monkeypox regarding the treatment, isolation of sick patients, signs, and symptoms of monkeypox, prevention, community awareness who returned from monkeypox affected countries,

Read More: All About Monkeypox and raising concern in world

The Health minister is likely to release in the coming days, said

Surveillance strategy at the airports and seaports, hospital infection control measures if any suspected cases have been reported, and other preventive measures. So, these will be comprehensive guidelines.

The scientist said

"Common people have to be refined about the disease and how to report to the health facility if they show any monkeypox symptoms. We are predicting the virus would come to India only via international travels; therefore, surveillance at the ports and airports is very important,"

Monkeypox originates from animals such as primates and rodents and transmits to people. It is found in Africa, mostly around tropical rainforest regions. The primary symptoms are fever with an unexplained acute rash all over the body. Other symptoms include headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and body aches, back pain, and weakness.

Meanwhile, the NCDC has identified a few public health actions against monkeypox.

Priya Abraham, director of the NIV, explained the measures, saying, "Health facilities have to keep a heightened suspicion in people who present with stated symptoms. All suspected cases must be isolated in designated healthcare facilities until lesions subside and are deemed fit to end isolation. All such patients have to be reported to the District Surveillance Officer of IDSP. Besides, all recommended infection control practices are to be followed.

Furthermore, clinical samples such as fluid from the blisters, blood, sputum, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens must be sent to ICMR-NIV, Pune if there is clinical suspicion."

Priya said that if there is a positive case, contact tracing must be initiated immediately for all contacts over the past 21 days. "Airport authorities will be collecting a 21-day travel history of passengers coming from nations with monkeypox cases and check their current health status,"

Asked if NIV, Pune received some suspected samples or any suspected cases, she said: "We are prepared but have not yet got any suspect /confirmed samples. NCDC is already geared for surveillance and ICMR-NIV is ready to receive the samples."

According to public health experts, cases of monkeypox worldwide can potentially be an additional challenge in these times. However, as a country, India needs to keep a very close watch on the global situation, and there is no need to fear yet.

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