The Mumbai civic body has prepared a 28-bed isolation ward in the city for people suspected to be infected with monkeypox virus in the wake of its spread in a number of countries.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has prepared the ward at Kasturba Hospital and all health facilities in the city have been informed to refer suspected monkeypox cases to Kasturba Hospital, from where their samples would be sent to Pune-based National Institute of Virology for testing.
There is no confirmed or suspected monkeypox so far in Mumbai, as per a BMC public health department official.
In an advisory issued about the monkeypox, the BMC said airport authorities are screening passengers coming from the endemic and non-endemic countries showing outbreaks. It says monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease which occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.
"Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications," it stated.
The BMC added that it is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from two to four weeks. Severe cases can occur and the case fatality rate may vary from 1-10 per cent.
The disease can be transmitted from animals to humans as well as human-to- human.
"The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth)," the advisory stated.
It said that the animal-to-human transmission may occur by a bite or scratch, bushmeat (of wild animals) preparations, direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, or indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated bedding.
The human-to-human transmission is thought to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets generally requiring prolonged close contact.
Besides, it can also be transmitted through direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, and indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated clothing or linens of an infected person, the BMC informed.
Monkeypox has an incubation period usually of 7-14 days, but can range from 5-21 days and the person is usually not contagious during this period.
"An infected person may transmit the disease from 1-2 days before appearance of the rash and remain contagious till all the scabs fall off," the advisory said.
Last week, the Union government directed airport and port authorities to be vigilant and further directed the National Centre for Disease Control and the Indian Council of Medical Research to keep a close watch and monitor the monkeypox situation in India.
They have been instructed that any sick passenger with a travel history to Monkeypox-affected countries be isolated and samples sent to the BSL4 facility of the National Institute of Virology in Pune for an investigation."
Health officers at airports and ports have been instructed that any sick passenger with a travel history to monkeypox-affected countries have to be isolated and their samples have to be sent to the BSL4 facility of the National Institute of Virology in Pune for an investigation, reported PTI.
While monkeypox rarely spreads outside Africa, more than 80 infections have been identified across Europe, the US, Canada, Israel, and Australia, according to BBC. This unusual spread has confused disease experts in Africa.
(With PTI inputs)