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Business News/ News / India/  Govt issues guidelines for preventing Monkeypox outbreak amid spike in cases

Govt issues guidelines for preventing Monkeypox outbreak amid spike in cases

The government has issued guidelines to make people aware about preventive measures against the virus

Government has issued guidelines to prevent the Monkeypox outbreak (AFP)Premium
Government has issued guidelines to prevent the Monkeypox outbreak (AFP)

As the Monkeypox cases continue to increase in the country, Union Ministry issued guidelines on Wednesday to make people aware about measures to keep the virus at bay.

In its official communication, the ministry informed us about the absence of Monkeypox in the country till 31 May 2022. Then it asked the country people to be ready for any kind of situation as the reports are increasing day by day.People can be cautious about the Public health emergency only when they know all about the virus.

Origin of Monkeypox

It all started in 1958 when the disease was first found in a colony of monkeys that were kept for research. Later, the virus began to be known as Monkeypox(MPX). It is a viral zoonotic disease, which means that it is highly communicable and can be transformed from non-human animals to humans or vice-versa.It has similar symptoms to that of smallpox, with less severity. The first human case of Monkeypox was found to be known in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1970.

The virus is prevalent in Central and West Africa. The virus expanded its reach outside Africa in 2003 when its case was reported in the United States of America. The case was linked to contact with infected pet prairie dogs. These pets had been kept with Gambian pouched rats and dormice that had been imported into the country from Ghana.

Just like the widely circulated images of the disease, there is not much to be afraid of the disease. However, it is more about taking proper precautions and preventive measures against it.

Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases occur more commonly among children and are related to the extent of virus exposure, patient health status, and nature of complications.

Different modes of transmission

As the virus can travel through different modes of transmission, it is not just about limiting your people-to-people contact. It is more about being careful in maintaining hygiene as well.

Human-to-human transmission

The virus is known to spread primarily through large respiratory droplets that require extended contact or proximity between people. It can also be transmitted through direct contact with body fluids or lesion material. Not only this, indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated clothing or linens of an infected person can also spread this virus.

Animal-to-human transmission

Apart from getting the disease from another human, people may also contract the disease when they are bitten or scratched by some infected animal like small mammals including rodents (rats, squirrels) and non-human primates (monkeys, apes) or through bush meat preparation.

 Symptoms of Monkeypox

As  Monkeypox cases continue to rise from people with travel history to people who haven't travelled for a long time, it gets important to know about the symptoms.It is a confirmed case of monkeypox when a person of any age with a travel history to affected countries within the last 21 days, shows up with an unexplained acute rash. Swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, body pain and weakness are some other the symptoms of the disease.

In the first five days of the disease, a person may experience fever and body pain, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, chills and sweats. He may even experience sore throat and cough. People may also start developing rashes within first to third days after being infected. He may also experience painful lesions that may last till the healing phase, then they become itchy and start to disappear.

However, if any one without a travel history shows up such kind of symptoms , they should immediately seek medical help for further treatment.

Union Ministry guidelines for the monitoring of those who came in contact with the infected person.

a) If a person has a travel history from any of the prone countries or regions, then he or she should monitor contacts till one month. If a person gets infected with the disease then, then the person who has come in contact with the infected one, should keep a track of all the people he comes in contact with for a month. He should be cautious of of signs and symptoms for a period of 21 days from the last contact with a patient or their contaminated materials during the infectious period. He should immediately seek medical help, if he observes any of the symptoms.

b) Asymptomatic contacts should not donate blood, cells, tissue, organs or semen while they are under surveillance.

c) Pre-school children may be excluded from day care, nursery, or other group settings.

d) Health workers who have unprotected exposures to patients with monkeypox or possibly contaminated materials do not need to be excluded from work duty if asymptomatic, but should undergo active surveillance for symptoms for 21 days.

Preventive measures against Monkeypox

1. Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with a sick person.

2. Isolate infected patients from others.

3. Maintaining cleanliness by regularly washing hands after coming in contact with infected animals or humans will prevent its spread. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

4. Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

5. It is often observed that the family members or the ones who are living with the infected person are at great risk of the disease. That's why, it is important to closely monitor and for the quick identification of new cases to contain disease. Health workers and household members are at a greater risk of infection.

If a patient comes up with symptoms like fever and vesicular/pustular rash, then a combination of standard, contact, and droplet precautions should be applied in all healthcare settings.

"There is no need to be afraid of Monkeypox", says Health Minister Mansukh Mandviya

As the Monkeypox cases continue to rise across the country, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday, requested the citizens not to panick and assured them to be aware and take all the precautions against the virus. He also informed about the awareness campaign that has been run across the country in collaboration with state governments.

"There is no need to be afraid of Monkeypox, an awareness campaign is being run in collaboration with the state governments: Public awareness is very necessary in the context of Monkeypox. We have also formed a task force under the chairmanship of a member of NITI Aayog on behalf of the Government of India."said Mansukh Mandviya in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday

"On the basis of the observations of the task force, we will assess and study the further action to be taken. If the state government of Kerala needs any kind of help from the Central government, it will be given. Also, an expert team of the Central government is guiding the state government from time to time," he said.

 With inputs from ANI

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Published: 03 Aug 2022, 03:17 PM IST
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