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Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the rising cases of Monkeypox have become a huge point of concern in India. So far the country has reported 10 cases of Monkeypox and one death. Taking cognizance of the cases, the Uttarakhand health department has issued an advisory to all the District Magistrates and Chief Medical Officers regarding the viral disease. However, the hilly state has not reported a single case of Monkeypox to date.

Uttarakhand has issued the advisory as a precautionary measure from the Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

1. The health department has been directed to monitor the cases rapidly. It is directed that even one case of monkeypox should be considered an outbreak and any suspected case should be reported immediately to the District Surveillance Units or State Surveillance Units (SSUs) and the further process of sampling, tracing and testing should follow after the detection of a confirmed case.

2. Core Surveillance Strategy to be put in place including hospital-based surveillance and targeted surveillance that can be achieved by Measles surveillance by the Immunization division and targeted intervention sites identified by NACO for MSM, FSW population.

3. A preventive strategy including isolating cases to prevent further transmission, providing optimal clinical care, identifying and managing contacts, protecting frontline health workers, and effective control and preventive measures based on the identified routes of transmission has been directed.

4. Lab Diagnosis, contact tracing, capacity building, awareness generation regarding safe sex practices, self-reporting of symptoms, and preventive measures against Monkeypox are some of the measures directed to be taken as part of the preventive strategies.

5. The state has also been directed to take necessary action regarding the prevention and control of the disease.

Monkeypox in India

India's first Monkeypox case was reported in Kerala's Kollam district on July 14. Until now, Kerala has reported five cases of Monkeypox while Delhi reported three.

On July 30, India reported the first death from Monkeypox. A 22-year-old man, who had tested positive for Monkeypox in UAE arrived in India on July 22 and was admitted to a hospital on July 27 after again testing positive for Monkeypox.

Apart from Uttarakhand, the national capital Delhi directed three private hospitals to create at least 10 isolation rooms for the infected individuals - 5 for management of suspected cases of monkeypox and 5 isolation rooms for management of confirmed cases of monkeypox. Karnataka and Kerala have also guidelines to trace and treat rare disease.

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