Ghaziabad: 5-year-old girl's sample sent for monkeypox testing
The sample of a five-year-old was collected for monkeypox testing as a precautionary measure after she complained of itching and rashes on her body, the chief medical officer (CMO) of Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad told ANI on Saturday. The CMO added the girl didn't have any other health issues and nor had she or any of her close contacts traveled abroad in the past month.
Why does this story matter?
The WHO on Thursday said that the monkeypox virus has spread to more than 30 nations and about 550 confirmed cases have been reported. The WHO classifies non-endemic countries as those which are reporting chains of transmission for the first time without any known epidemiological links. Recently, the Indian government also issued guidelines related to the disease.
Health Ministry issued monkeypox management guidelines
The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday had issued "Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease." Even though India hasn't reported any monkeypox cases yet, the ministry has acted proactively to ensure advance preparedness across the country. It stressed surveillance and rapid identification were key to curbing the outbreak of the infection. Protective measures and isolation procedures were also elaborated upon in the guidelines.
What exactly is monkeypox?
Mostly transmitted to humans from animals, monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease. Most cases of the monkeypox infection are found in West and Central Africa. According to the WHO, the monkeypox virus is similar to human smallpox. Although monkeypox is said to be much milder than smallpox, with a mortality rate of up to 10%, it can be fatal in rare cases.
First human case of monkeypox identified in 1970
The first case of human monkeypox was identified in 1970 in Congo (formerly Zaire) in a nine-year-old boy, two years after smallpox had been eradicated from the region. Since then, most cases have been reported from rainforest regions of the Congo Basin where it is considered endemic. However, in 2017, 40 years after its last confirmed case, Nigeria witnessed the biggest outbreak to date.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
According to the WHO, the incubation period for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range between 5−21 days, too. Following this, fever, rash, severe headache, backache, muscle aches (myalgia), intense asthenia (lack of energy), and swollen lymph nodes kick in. Apart from the face, rashes affect the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, oral mucous membranes, genitalia, conjunctivae, and cornea.
How to contain spread of monkeypox?
Monkeypox spreads through "close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding." A large number of cases were found amongst "men who have sex with other men (MSM) seeking care in primary care and sexual health clinics," the WHO said. Since it is spread by close contact, it can be contained through measures such as self-isolation and proper hygiene.