The Union Health Ministry, Govt of India on Tuesday issued an advisory to international passengers for the prevention of Monkeypox, a viral zoonosis (a virus transferred to humans from animals) with symptoms comparable to smallpox.
The advisory comes in the view of the increasing reports of Monkeypox (MPX) cases in non-endemic countries.
The Union Health Ministry advises international travellers to avoid consuming or preparing meat from wild game (bushmeat) or using goods produced such as creams, lotions and powders derived from wild animals in Africa, as well as to avoid close contact with sick persons, particularly those with skin lesions or genital lesions.
It is worth mentioning that, as of now, there are no cases of monkeypox disease have been reported in India.
Monkeypox: Advisory For International Passengers
Travellers should Avoid:
- Close contact with sick people, including those with skin lesions or genital lesions.
- Contact with dead or live wild animals such as small mammals including rodents (rats, squirrels) and non-human primates (monkeys, apes).
- Eating or preparing meat from wild game (bushmeat) or using products derived from wild animals from Africa (creams, lotions, powders).
- Contact with contaminated materials used by sick people (such as clothing, bedding, or materials used in healthcare settings) or that came into contact with infected animals.
Consult the nearest health facility if you develop symptoms suggestive of monkeypox like fever with rash &
- You were in an area where Monkeypox has been reported
- You had contact with a person that might have had Monkeypox.
Role of APHOs/PHOs
The advisory further outlines the responsibilities of APHOs and PHOs, stating that they should be on high alert, particularly for travellers travelling from countries with monkeypox outbreaks.
- Remain in a state of alert, particularly for the passengers arriving from countries reporting monkeypox outbreaks,
- Familiarize with clinical presentation of monkeypox,
- Undertake strict thermal screening and history of travel to affected countries in the last 21 days,
- Establish/strengthen referral arrangements from airport/port to identified link hospital.
- Also, familiarize Bureau of Immigration personnel, airline personnel and any State health personnel deployed with them about the disease,
- Inform concerned airlines about the detection of a suspect case for the purpose of disinfection procedure to be followed as per standard guidelines.
The advisory also stated that a person of any age having a history of travel to affected countries within the last 21 days presenting with an unexplained acute rash AND one or more of the following signs or symptoms
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Body aches
- Profound weakness
The World Health Organization stated on Sunday that the monkeypox virus has now spread to 23 non-endemic nations, with a total of 257 laboratory-confirmed cases and around 120 suspected cases.