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Thursday June 30, 2022

Pakistan on high alert after monkeypox cases detected in UK, US

Sindh Health Department has recommended increasing surveillance to prevent the monkeypox outbreak

By Web Desk
May 23, 2022
Photo: AFP/file
Photo: AFP/file 

KARACHI: Following the emergence of 111 cases of monkeypox, an infectious disease, in the United States and England, the Sindh Health Department on Monday issued a high alert, saying that the virus can spread in Pakistan.

In a statement, the provincial health department said that a high alert has been issued to take timely measures to prevent the spread of the infectious disease in the country.

Infected individuals arriving in the country can cause an outbreak, so the health department has decided to screen the inbound passengers coming from the virus-hit countries, it said.

The health ministry has also recommended increasing the surveillance process to prevent the spread.

Experts said that the virus can be transmitted through contact with skin lesions or droplets from a contaminated person, as well as through shared items such as bedding or towels.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a virus that spreads from wild animals, such as rats and primates, to humans in exceptional cases. The disease is endemic in Central and West Africa, hence, the majority of human cases have occurred there.

Scientists discovered the virus in 1958 after two outbreaks of a "pox-like" disease in laboratory monkeys — hence, the term monkeypox. In 1970, a nine-year-old child in a remote section of Congo became the first reported human infection.

Symptoms and treatment

Monkeypox is a component of the same viral family as smallpox, although its symptoms are less severe.

The majority of patients exhibit simply fever, body pains, chills, and exhaustion. People with severe illnesses may develop rashes and sores on the face and hands that can spread to other areas of the body.

The quarantine period lasts between approximately five days and three weeks. The majority of people recover within two to four weeks without hospitalisation.

Up to one in ten persons can die from monkeypox, and the disease is believed to be especially severe in young people.