Tuesday, February 7

Detection of 4th monkeypox case in India alerts WHO 

New Delhi, July 25, 2022 (PPI-OT):As India reported its fourth monkeypox case – a 34-year-old male from Delhi with no foreign travel history – the WHO urged New Delhi to urgently enhance surveillance and public health measures to detect the infection and mount responses, besides considering informed vaccination options. The 34-year-old man from Delhi is the fourth monkeypox case in the country after three reported from Kerala.

The Health Ministry said the NIV, Pune, had confirmed the fourth patient, currently isolated at Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi. The patient had attended a stag party in Manali in Himachal Pradesh recently. The ministry held a high-level review meeting and asked the states to be ready with isolation facilities and emergency response.

“The patient’s close contacts have been quarantined. The identification of the source of infection, enhanced contact tracing and testing sensitisation of private practitioners are being carried out,” it said.

WHO Southeast Asia Regional Director Poonam Khetarpal has asked India to strengthen surveillance a day after the health body declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern. She said its rapid spread was a matter of great concern. Globally, over 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported from 75 countries.

The Southeast Asian region has five cases with four in India and one in Thailand. The cases in India, the WHO said, were among nationals who returned from the Middle East, while in Thailand, a foreigner had been tested positive.

The WHO has asked nations to consider targeted use of vaccines for pre-exposure prophylaxis in persons at risk of exposure. Since smallpox and monkeypox viruses were closely related, vaccines for the former could help, but the decision must be based on full assessment of risks and benefits, it said.

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