Govt guidelines, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Consider even one monkeypox case as outbreak: Govt guidelines

New Delhi: A 34-year-old man from West Delhi is currently admitted in the isolation ward of a state-run hospital designated for management of monkeypox cases. Unlike the other three cases, all of them from Kerala and with a history of travel to the UAE, the Delhi patient doesn’t have any history of travel to countries that have reported instances of monkeypox. This has alarmed health officials about the extent of the spread of the disease.

Also, many health experts have pointed out how the infection is mostly being reported in gay or bisexual men. In this backdrop, the DGHS also highlighted the need for a targeted approach towards men who have sex with men (MSM) by the National AIDS Control Organisation.The Union health ministry had issued guidelines for management of monkeypox to all states and UTs to ensure preparedness to deal with any potential crisis in May-end, much before the disease was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organisation.

In its guidelines, the health ministry said even one case of monkeypox is to be considered an outbreak. It should trigger a detailed investigation by ‘rapid response teams’ that need to be initiated through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, the guideline stated. It directed all states and UTs to report any suspected case immediately to the state and the central surveillance units, which shall have to report the same to the health ministry.

A confirmed case is laboratory confirmed for monkeypox virus by detection of unique sequences of viral DNA either by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or sequencing.

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