The National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), under the Department of Health and Family Affairs, has instructed states and union territories to monitor people who develop symptoms associated with monkeypox and have travel history to affected countries. The samples would be sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune (NIV) for diagnosis.
State Supervisor Dr Pradeep Awate said: ‘We received the instructions from the NCDC on Saturday and have issued instructions to the districts. The main mode of transmission is bodily fluids and respiratory secretions, which is common in most diseases. Transmission of the virus is slower compared to Covid and affected countries say the disease is being reported among those who have come into close and prolonged contact with the patient.
Dr. Awate said there are no confirmed or even suspected cases of monkeypox in the state.
The NCDC advisory calls on public health authorities to heighten suspicion in people with an otherwise unexplained rash who have traveled, within the last 21 days, to a country that has recently reported confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox or contact with a person or persons with confirmed or suspected monkeypox.
Suspected cases should be isolated in designated health facilities until all lesions have disappeared and a new layer of skin has formed or until the attending physician decides to end the isolation . Patients should be reported to the District Surveillance Officer of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program. Laboratory samples from suspected cases consisting of fluid from vesicles, blood, sputum, etc. must be sent to the VNI.
Moneypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs mainly in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is sometimes exported to other regions.
Moneypox usually presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and can lead to a range of medical complications
Is it more deadly than Covid?
Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting disease with symptoms lasting 2-4 weeks. Serious cases can occur. The fatality rate can vary from 1 to 10%
Monkeypox can be transmitted from animal to human as well as from human to human. The virus enters the body through damaged skin (even if it is not visible), the respiratory tract or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose or mouth).
Experts say transmission is only possible through close contact
Transmission from animals to humans can occur through bites or scratches, preparation of bushmeat, direct contact with bodily fluids or lesion material, or indirect contact with lesion material, for example through a contaminated litter
Human-to-human transmission is thought to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets usually requiring prolonged close contact
The clinical presentation of monkeypox resembles that of smallpox, a related orthopoxvirus infection that was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980. Monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe disease.
80: Cases of monkeypox have been reported to date (May 20, 2022) in 12 countries, including the UK, US, Europe, Australia and Canada, with no deaths.
Monkeypox has not been reported in India, but with new cases detected in various countries, the chances of the disease occurring in India cannot be ruled out. The cases that have been reported globally are due to both local transmission and travel to African countries. As part of a proactive approach, NCDC and MoHFW have identified several public health actions to be taken in the event of reports of suspected cases in India.
*Source: Interim Notice for Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP), NCDC, MoHFW