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With the first case of monkeypox in WHO South-East Asia Region reported from India, AIIMS' Department of Medicine Additional Professor Piyush Ranjan on 15 July assured that there is no reason to worry, but cautioned that it can be fatal for children as compared to the covid virus.

"No reason to worry as the monkeypox virus's infectivity is very less though it can be fatal for children as compared to the covid virus," ANI quoted Piyush Ranjan as saying.

Elaborating on the symptoms, Dr. Ranjan said that monkeypox symptoms are like smallpox and chickenpox. "At the onset, patients will have fever, and enlargement of lymph nodes. After 1-5 days, they may report rashes on the face, palms & soles. They may have rashes in the cornea leading to blindness," he added.

ALSO READ: Health Ministry releases guidelines for management of Monkeypox

Apart from this, Dr Ranjan also said that Monkeypox virus transmits from animals to human beings by close contact or through face-to-face contact with infected people for a longer duration.

Earlier in the day, WHO South-East Asia Regional Director Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh that the region has been on alert for monkeypox and nations have been taking measures to rapidly detect and take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of monkeypox.

Over 6,000 cases of monkeypox and three deaths have been reported from across 60 countries since the beginning of the year. More cases can be expected as surveillance expands, a WHO press release read.

In the region, the risk is assessed as moderate. On 23 June, WHO convened a meeting of the Emergency Committee to seek expert advice if the ongoing outbreak was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The committee recommended intense response to curtail the spread of the ongoing outbreak, in view of low population immunity against pox virus infection and risk of further sustained transmission into the wider population. The next meeting of the Emergency Committee has been convened on 21 July.

With PTI inputs.

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