Health Ministry confirms two monkeypox cases detected in Pakistan

Victims identity being kept confidential: They land in Karachi from Saudi Arabia: NIH Islamabad confirms presence of virus

the federal health ministry has said that they have identified two confirmed cases of monkeypox infection.

The persons infected are said to have travelled from Saudi Arabia and landed in Pakistan on April 17, with symptoms of monkeypox.

The identity of the victims has been kept confidential, and samples were sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad, which confirmed the presence of the virus.

The ministry has begun tracing contacts of the infected persons and has put all airports in the country on high alert.

Following the detection of the virus, hospitals in Sindh have been advised to take proactive steps for the management of suspected or confirmed cases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently declared the spread of Monkeypox a ‘global health emergency’ amid the rising infection rates worldwide. Fortunately, Pakistan remains safe from the fatal virus until suffering the two cases originated in Saudi Arabia.

 Below, we have gathered all the information that you need about the restrictions on Monkeypox in Pakistan. 

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.

In most cases, people typically recover within two to four weeks without needing to be hospitalized. In some cases, however, monkeypox can also be fatal in up to 6 percent of cases and could also be more severe in children.

Monkeypox cases in Pakistan

According to the latest report from the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination of Pakistan on April 25, two cases of monkeypox have been detected in Pakistan so far.

Monkeypox News in Pakistan

In response to WHO’s declaration of the Monkeypox virus as a global health emergency, Abdul Qadir Patel, Minister for National Health Services (NHS), issued a directive to all hospitals on Tuesday to take the appropriate action. More detailed surveillance and essential procedures are being maintained in relation to monkeypox, even if there have been no cases of the virus reported in the nation yet.

 All entities, especially border health services, have received directives from the Ministry of Health to closely monitor any suspected cases at all points of entry into the nation and to put in place an efficient monitoring system. All incoming travellers would be subject to screening, especially those from African nations.

 The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), a pandemic response institution, has also been ordered by the health minister to ensure ongoing surveillance of both COVID-19 infections and the monkeypox situation in the nation.

What causes Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as clothing, bedding, or other items used in healthcare settings.

Monkeypox symptoms

Monkeypox has an incubation period of seven to 14 days. The initial symptoms of monkeypox are similar to influenza with fever, chills, exhaustion, headache, muscle weakness and swelling in lymph nodes.

The widespread of rashes all over the infected bodies include the inside of the mouth, palms of the hands, and feet. Moreover, it has been reported that the rashes are mostly in the genital area for the early stages of the illness.

The most distinguished ways of transmission of the Monkeypox infection from one person to another are typically through contact with body fluids and respiratory droplets, contact with skin lesions of an infected person and contact with contaminated surfaces.

What is the treatment for Monkeypox?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA, there are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infections. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections.

Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.

Monkeypox prevention

Here are the things that you can do to prevent the spread of Monkeypox:

  • Keep your hands clean by washing them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitisers
  • Prevent animal-to-human transmission
  • Avoid any contact with wild animals
  • Cook meat properly
  • Avoid any objects that have been in contact with a sick animal
  • Prevent human-to-human transmission
  • Avoid contact with any person who has a rash
  • Avoid contact with any object that has been in contact with a sick person

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