clearer |  What are the Ministry of Health's guidance on monkeypox?

clearer | What are the Ministry of Health’s guidance on monkeypox?

Why is India on alert? What are the possible causes, symptoms and ways of transmission?

Why is India on alert? What are the possible causes, symptoms and ways of transmission?

The story so far: The Indian Ministry of Health has issued guidelines on the management of monkeypox. So far, no cases of the virus have been confirmed in India, but reports of the virus spreading in non-endemic countries have led to the issuance of guidelines.

What do the guidelines say?

The 23-page document, available on the Ministry of Health website, is an information sheet that lists the global spread of the disease as of May 31, its epidemiological or pathological characteristics including the type of virus causing the disease, its possible origins, incubation period, how long before symptoms appear etc. that. It also highlights the duration of remission, transmission patterns, symptoms, possible exposure patterns, testing to confirm the presence of the virus, and the government’s surveillance strategy in place to identify cases and clusters of infection.

What are the most important recommendations?

Guidelines recommend that contacts be monitored every day for signs/symptoms for 21 days (as defined) from last contact with a patient or their contaminated material during the infection period. Suspected cases of monkeypox include anyone of any age with a history of travel to affected countries in the last 21 days who presents with a severe unexplained rash and one or more symptoms, including swollen lymph nodes, fever, head/body pain, and severe weakness.

Other symptoms include eye pain or blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, difficulty breathing, change in consciousness, seizures, decreased urine output, poor oral intake, and lethargy.

The case of monkeypox has been confirmed in vitro by detection of unique sequences of viral DNA by either polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or sequencing, such as the COVID-19 test. However, there are no commercial tests for monkeypox yet, and all clinical specimens will be transported to the main laboratory at ICMR-NIV (Pune) routed through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) network of the respective region/state.

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There is no specific treatment protocol or medications for monkeypox and the patient must be managed on the basis of symptoms. For example, rehydration should be treated with oral fluids; Fever with sponge and paracetamol, nausea and vomiting with antiemetics.

How common is monkeypox globally?

The World Health Organization said that monkeypox cases have been reported from 12 member countries that are not endemic for monkeypox virus. Cases reported so far have not established links to travel to endemic areas. Based on the information currently available, cases have been mainly, but not limited to, men who have sex with men (MSM) seeking care in primary care and sexual health clinics.

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To date, all cases whose samples have been confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing have been identified as infected with the West African branch of the virus. Genome sequencing from a swab sample from a confirmed case in Portugal indicated a close match between the monkeypox virus that caused the current outbreak, with cases exported from Nigeria to the United Kingdom, Israel and Singapore in 2018 and 2019. It is, according to the World Health Organization, Benin , Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana (identified in animals only), Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan.

Are there vaccines?

Historically, smallpox vaccination has been shown to protect against monkeypox. While one vaccine (MVA-BN) and another specific treatment (tecovirimat) for monkeypox were approved, in 2019 and 2022, respectively, they are not widely available. It is said that the smallpox vaccination protects against monkeypox, but this vaccine will be for individuals over 40-50 years old, who have been vaccinated with the smallpox vaccine, and here also it is unclear how long the protection will last.

2022-06-04 21:50:00

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