Home Monkeypox Ghaziabad: 5-year-old with complaints of itch, rash; sent for monkeypox sample testing

Ghaziabad: 5-year-old with complaints of itch, rash; sent for monkeypox sample testing

by Vaishali Sharma

After complaining of itching and rashes on her body, a five-year-old child in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, is being tested for monkeypox.

The test is only a “precautionary step,” according to the Chief Medical Officer of Ghaziabad, because the girl has no other health difficulties and has had no intimate contact with anyone who has travelled overseas in the last month.

“Samples of a five-year-old girl have been collected for testing for monkeypox, as a precautionary measure, as she had complaints of itching and rashes on her body. She has no other health issues and neither she nor any of her close contacts travelled abroad in the past one month,” CMO Ghaziabad said.

The Union Health Ministry responded proactively on Tuesday, issuing ‘Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease’ to guarantee advance readiness across the country, in light of an increase in reports of monkeypox (MPX) cases in non-endemic countries.

According to the recommendations, a confirmed case of monkeypox is defined as the discovery of unique sequences of viral DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or sequencing in a laboratory.

“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 at least daily for the development of signs/symptoms for a period of 21 days (as defined by case definition) after their last contact with a patient or their contaminated items 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.

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare continues to maintain a close watch over the evolving situation.

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