After two confirmed cases of monkeypox were reported in the country, the Union Health Ministry, Government of India on Monday reviewed the measures for health screening of international travellers arriving in India at airports and ports.
Airport and port health officers (APHOs and PHOs), as well as regional directors from regional offices of health and family welfare, attended the meeting on Monday.
They were ordered to conduct thorough health screening on all arriving international visitors in order to reduce the possibility of monkeypox cases being imported into the country, according to a health ministry statement.
According to the Ministry of Health’s ‘Guidelines for Management of Monkeypox Disease,’ they were advised and re-oriented in the clinical presentation of monkeypox disease.
They were also advised to work collaboratively with other stakeholder agencies, such as Immigration at international ports and airports, to streamline health screening processes, as well as to ensure appropriate linkages with hospital facilities designated to each port of entry for timely referral and isolation.
Monkeypox Cases In India
On Monday, a 31-year-old man from Kannur in Kerala returned from Dubai and tested positive for monkeypox, making him India’s second confirmed case of the disease.
After the first verified case of monkeypox was identified in Kerala’s Kollam district on Thursday, the Union Health Ministry rushed a high-level multi-disciplinary team to the state to help state health officials in initiating public health measures.
Monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is a viral zoonosis (a virus transferred to people from animals) with symptoms comparable to those observed in smallpox patients in the past, but clinically less severe.
Monkeypox is associated with fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes and can result in a variety of medical issues.
It is often a self-limiting condition with symptoms lasting between 2 and 4 weeks.
Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease
The Centre stated in the ‘Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease’ issued to states and UTs that human-to-human transmission occurs predominantly through large respiratory droplets that need prolonged close contact.
Contacts should be monitored at least daily for the development of signs/symptoms for 21 days (as per case definition) after the last contact with a patient or their contaminated materials during the infectious period, according to the guidelines.