Monkeypox menace in India? Sample of a 5-year-old girl collected in Uttar Pradesh!

(This article is authored by Alar, a freelance content writer)

India is just a result away to know whether it has been struck by the menace of monkeypox virus as the sample of a 5-year-old girl has been collected for testing. After Covid, the Monkeypox has been threatening several countries for the past few weeks. Being a zoonotic virus that has been considered to be the next pandemic, Monkeypox mainly affects children, pregnant women, or people with low immunity. 

While hundreds of monkeypox cases were reported in several countries, India is yet to report a single case and the Union Health Ministry has been taking measures to address the adversity. A 5-year-old girl had complaints of itching and rashes and her samples have been collected to ascertain whether she has contracted the monkeypox. She is a resident of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. 

Speaking to ANI, an official has said, "The girl had complaints of itching & rashes on her body. She has no other health issues and neither she nor any of her close contact travelled abroad in the past one month." She was suffering from a hearing ailment and she was examined in an ENT clinic and later, she had developed itching and rashes on her body. 

As she has been suspected to contracted the monkeypox, the health authorities have taken measures to curb the spread to others. Besides having rashes and itching, the girl didn't have any trace of fever or headache. Several countries have become hotspots for monkeypox and over 20 countries have reported the cases of monkeypox virus. World Health Organization (WHO) has noted that the foremost symptoms would be fever, body pain, and headache.

Within the next three days, there will be the formation of red spots and blisters. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said on Friday that it was aware of more than 700 global cases of monkeypox including 21 in the United States. It has further cited that monkeypox is close to becoming the superspreader inside the country. 

Initially, the disease was confined to western and central Africa and the cases have been getting reported in Europe since May and the number of countries has been surging. Last Tuesday, India's Health Ministry has issued fresh guidelines on Monkeypox. It has said, "There are no reported cases of monkeypox disease in India, as of date. All the clinical specimens should be transported to the Apex Laboratory of ICMR- NIV (National Institute of Virology) Pune, routed through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme network of the respective district/state." 

The guidelines have further implied the importance of surveillance and rapid identification of new cases as the key public health measures for outbreak containment, mandating the need to reduce the risk of human-to-human transmission. It has further explained the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures, IPC at home, patient isolation, and ambulance transfer strategies, additional precautions that need to be taken care of, and the duration of isolation procedures. As per the guidelines, contacts should be monitored at least daily for the onset of signs/symptoms for a period of 21 days from the last contact with a patient or their contaminated materials during the infectious period.