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Health Ministry issues norms to tackle monkeypox

  • Published
    1st Jun, 2022
Context

The Union Health Ministry recently issued ‘Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease’.

About
  • It confirmed that there are no reported cases as on date of monkeypox disease in India.
  • India needs to be prepared to tackle cases of monkeypox in view of the increasing reports of cases in non-endemic countries.
  • Monkeypox (MPX) is a viral zoonotic disease with symptoms similar to smallpox, although with less clinical severity.

Natural reservoir of Monkeypox Virus:

  • The natural reservoir of the virus is yet unknown.
  • However, certain rodents (including rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian pouched rats, dormice) and non-human primates are known to be naturally susceptible to monkeypox virus.
  • The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days, but can range from 5 to 21 days
  • The period of communicability is 1-2 days before the rash until all the scabs fall off/get subsided.

Guidelines:

  • A patient should be closely monitored for the appearance of symptoms, including
    • pain in the eye or blurring of vision,
    • shortness of breath,
    • chest pain,
    • difficulty in breathing,
    • altered consciousness,
    • seizure,
    • decrease in urine output,
    • poor oral intake,
    • lethargy
  • During the period of isolation and nearby healthcare facility/ specialist must be contacted immediately in case of need.
  • Daily monitoring: As per the Guidelines, contacts should be monitored at least daily for the onset of signs/symptoms for a period of 21 days from the last contact with a patient or their contaminated materials during the infectious period.
  • The guidelines stress on surveillance and rapid identification of new cases as 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 need to be taken care of and duration of isolation procedures.
  • 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
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