Monkeypox Scare In Ghaziabad: What Do We Know So Far

New Delhi: Even as the world faces a COVID pandemic, spikes in monkey pox cases have raised concern. Developments related to the disease have been closely monitored in India, as the sample from a five-year-old girl in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh was reportedly sent for monkey pox testing on Saturday. The health department in Ghaziabad sent the girl’s samples for monkey pox after she complained of itching and a rash on her body.Also Read – Monkeypox cases rise to over 550, infections spread undetected: WHO

More than 700 cases of monkeypox have been reported worldwide, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So far, India has not reported a case of monkeypox, but the government had issued guidelines for the infection. The Center had urged people to “don’t panic” and said it was closely monitoring updates on monkeypox disease.

Monkeypox scare in Ghaziabad: what the government said?

Ghaziabad’s chief medical officer said the monkey pox test was conducted as a “precautionary measure” as the girl has no other health problems and has not been in close contact with anyone who has traveled abroad in the past month.

“Samples were taken from a five-year-old girl as a precaution to test for monkey pox because she complained of itching and a rash on her body. She has no other health problems and neither she nor her close contacts have traveled abroad in the past month,” said CMO Ghaziabad.

Monkeypox Outbreak: Should India Be Worried?

According to the government, there is no confirmation of a case of monkey pox in India. After the minor’s sample was sent to Ghaziabad to be tested for monkey pox, government health sources said it is “unnecessary scaremongering” and no cases of the disease have been reported from India so far.

“The sample from a suspected case of monkeypox in Ghaziabad has been sent for testing, but it is needless scaremongering. No case of monkeypox has been reported in India to date,” government sources told ANI.

On Tuesday, the government issued guidelines directing district surveillance units to consider even one such case an outbreak and initiate a detailed investigation through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program. In the “Guidelines for the Control of Monkeypox Disease” issued to states and union territories, the Department of Health emphasized monitoring and rapid identification of new cases as the key public health measures for containment of outbreaks, mandating the need to risk of human-human transmission.

It stated that India needs to be prepared in view of the increasing reports of cases in non-endemic countries, even though no case of monkeypox virus has been reported in the country to date.

According to the guidelines, a confirmed case for monkeypox virus has been confirmed in the laboratory by detection of unique sequences of viral DNA, either by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or sequencing.

All clinical specimens must be transported to ICMR-NIV’s top laboratory (Pune) through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) network of the respective district or state.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization’s top monkeypox expert said she doesn’t expect the hundreds of cases reported so far to culminate in another pandemic, but acknowledged that there are still many unknowns about the disease. “Right now we are not concerned about a global pandemic. We are concerned that individuals could acquire this infection from high-risk exposure if they do not have the information they need to protect themselves,” said Dr. Lewis.

dr. Lewis also said it was critical to emphasize that the vast majority of cases seen in dozens of countries worldwide are gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men so that scientists can study the problem further. She urged those at risk to exercise caution. “It’s very important to describe this because it appears to be an increase in a mode of transmission that may have been underrecognized in the past,” Lewis said.

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