According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the president of the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 550 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been recorded from thirty non-endemic countries.
“Investigations are ongoing, but the sudden appearance of monkeypox in many countries at the same time suggests there may have been undetected transmission for some time,” Tedros told journalists at WHO’s Geneva headquarters on Wednesday. With most reported cases have been among sexual encounters between men, those communities are working to inform their members of risks and preventative action that can be taken.
“But all of us must work hard to fight stigma, which is not just wrong, it could also prevent infected individuals from seeking care, making it harder to stop transmission,” warned the WHO chief, urging affected countries to widen their surveillance to the broader community.
Anyone risks infection if they have close physical contact with someone who has Monkeypox. Tedros noted that as the situation is evolving, WHO expects more cases to be found.
“It’s important to remember that generally, Monkeypox symptoms resolve on their own, but can be severe in some cases,” he added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to receive reports on current monkeypox outbreaks in African nations where the illness is endemic.
According to a UN news release, the top WHO official defined his goals as providing correct information to those most at risk, preventing further transmission among those at high risk, protecting frontline health workers, and furthering “our understanding” of the illness.
In response to an increase in reports of monkeypox (MPX) cases in non-endemic nations, India’s Health Ministry took preventive measures on Tuesday, issuing ‘Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease’ to guarantee that the country is well-prepared.
“There are no reported cases of monkeypox disease in India, as of date,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.
As per the guidelines, a confirmed case is laboratory confirmed for monkeypox virus by detection of unique sequences of viral DNA either by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or sequencing.
“All the clinical specimens should be transported to the Apex Laboratory of ICMR-NIV (Pune) routed through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network of the respective district/state,” it said in the guidelines.
The epidemiology of the disease (including host, incubation period, period of communicability, and mode of transmission); contact and case definitions; clinical features and complications; diagnosis, case management, risk communication, and infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance, including the use of personal protective equipment are all covered in the Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease.
“The guidelines stress surveillance and rapid identification of new cases as the key public health measures for outbreak containment, mandating the 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 statement reads.
Contacts should be examined for the development of signs/symptoms for at least 21 days after their last contact with a patient or their contaminated materials during the infectious period, according to the recommendations.
In addition to raising awareness of risk factors, the guidelines go into detail about educating people about Monkeypox virus prevention measures, such as avoiding contact with any sick person’s material, isolating the infected patient from others, practising good hand hygiene, and using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.
The Ministry further said that the Monkeypox has been reported as endemic in several other central and western African countries such as Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone. However, cases have been also reported in certain non-endemic countries e.g. USA, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Austria, Israel, Switzerland, etc.
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