New Delhi:  With reports of increasing Monkeypox (MPX) cases in non-endemic countries, Union Health Ministry has issued `Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease` to ensure advance preparedness across the country. Issuing a statement recently, the Health Ministry clarified that "There are no reported cases of monkeypox disease in India, as of date." 


The ministry further stated that the Monkeypox cases have been reported as endemic in several other central and western African countries such as Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d`Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone. 

The cases, however, have been also reported in certain non-endemic countries e.g. USA, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Austria, Israel, Switzerland, etc. 

Health Ministry guidelines on Monkeypox

As per the Health Ministry guidelines, 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.

"All the clinical specimens should be transported to the Apex Laboratory of ICMR-NIV (Pune) routed through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network of the respective district/state," ANI report quoted the guidelines.

Accordingly, the guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease include the epidemiology of the disease (including host, incubation period, period of communicability, and mode of transmission; contact and case definitions; clinical features and its complication, diagnosis, case management, risk communication, guidance on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) including use of personal protective equipment.

It further said "The guidelines on stress 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 explains 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 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.

The guidelines further explained in detail about raising awareness and educating people about the measures for Monkeypox virus-like avoiding contact with any material of the sick person, isolation of the infected patient from others, practising good hand hygiene, and using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

(With Agency Inputs)