Monkeypox in India: A Strategic Public Health Response

  Nov 06, 2023

Monkeypox : India's Public Health Response

Monkeypox has emerged as a new public health concern, with cases being reported in various countries, including India. As a viral zoonosis with symptoms similar to those seen in smallpox patients, albeit less severe, understanding and managing monkeypox is critical to ensure public health safety.

Key Points About Monkeypox:

Causative Agent: Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, part of the Orthopoxvirus genus.

ITransmission: It spreads through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.

ISymptoms: They include fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes.

IIncubation Period: Typically 6−16 days, can range from 5−21 days.

ITreatment: There's no specific treatment for monkeypox virus infection, but outbreaks can be controlled. Vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective inpreventing monkeypox.

Prevention: Includes avoiding contact with infected individuals or animals, practicing good hand hygiene, and using personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

India’s Public Health Measures:

ISurveillance: Enhanced surveillance and case finding are critical. Suspected cases are isolated and investigated swiftly.

IQuarantine: Quarantine protocols for contacts of confirmed cases.

IHealthcare Preparedness: Training healthcare workers to recognize symptoms and safely treat patients.

IPublic Awareness: Raising public awareness about the symptoms, modes of transmission, and prevention strategies.

IVaccination Strategy: Considering the introduction of vaccines for high-risk populations if the situation demands.

Monitoring and Cooperation:

International Coordination: India is coordinating with international bodies like the WHO for updates and strategies.

IResearch and Development: Encouraging research for effective treatments and diagnostics.

ITravel Advisories: Issuing travel advisories to inform those traveling to affected regions.

Understanding the impact of monkeypox on public health and the economy, especially during the recovery phase from the COVID-19 pandemic, is vital. India's robust public health infrastructure, sharpened by its response to COVID-19, is being adapted to monitor and contain the spread of monkeypox.

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