Thursday, December 8, 2022

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First case of monkeypox detected in Delhi; WHO says public health emergency

New Delhi: Delhi has reported its first case of monkeypox virus. According to official sources, the 34-year-old man who tested positive has no history of foreign travel. However, he had attended a stag party recently in Manali, Himachal Pradesh.

He was admitted to the Maulana Azad Medical College Hospital 3 days ago. There he showed symptoms of monkey pox. The samples collected from him were sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. The confirmation of him being infected with virus came today.

India detected three other cases of Monkeypox

India has already reported three other cases of the monkeypox virus. All the three cases were reported from Kerala. These three people were having a history of foreign travel. One of the person came from UAE while two others returned from UAE.

Enhance Surveillance, Public Health Measures For Monkeypox : WHO

The World Health Organization today called on countries in South – East Asia Region to strengthen surveillance and public health measures for monkeypox, with the disease being declared a public health emergency of international concern.

“Monkeypox has been spreading rapidly and to many countries that have not seen it before, which is a matter of great concern. However, with cases concentrated among men who have sex with men, it is possible to curtail further spread of the disease with focused efforts among at-risk population,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region.

16000 cases reported globally in 75 countries

Globally, over 16000 cases of monkeypox have been reported from 75 countries. In the WHO South-East Asia Region, four cases of monkeypox have been reported, three from India and one from Thailand. The cases in India are among nationals who returned home from the Middle East, while in Thailand an international living in the country has been confirmed positive for monkeypox.

The Regional Director said , “Importantly, our focused efforts and measures should be sensitive, devoid of stigma or discrimination.”

Tedros announces monkeypox as public health emergency

The decision to term monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) was announced by Dr Tedros, Director-General WHO, yesterday, a day after he convened yet another meeting of the IHR emergency committee to review the multi-country outbreak.

“Though the risk of monkeypox globally and in the Region is moderate, the potential of its further international spread is real. Also, there are still many unknowns about the virus. We need to stay alert and prepared to roll out intense response to curtail further spread of monkeypox,” Dr Khetrapal Singh said.

Since the start of the outbreak, WHO has been supporting countries assess risk, and initiate public health measures, while also building and facilitating testing capacities in the Region.

Intensify surveillance and accelerate vaccine research

Engaging and protecting the affected communities; intensifying surveillance and public health measures; strengthening clinical management and infection prevention and control in hospitals and clinics; and accelerating research into the use of vaccines, therapeutics and other tools, are among the key measures that need to be scaled-up, the Regional Director said.

Transmission of monkeypox virus

Monkeypox virus is transmitted from infected animals to humans via indirect or direct contact. Human-to-human transmission can occur through direct contact with infectious skin or lesions, including face-to-face, skin-to-skin, and respiratory droplets. In the current outbreak countries and amongst the reported monkeypox cases, transmission appears to be occurring primarily through close physical contact, including sexual contact. Transmission can also occur from contaminated materials such as linens, bedding, electronics, clothing, that have infectious skin particles.

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