Delhi has reported three more cases of Monkeypox, taking the national capital's tally of Monkeypox infections 12.
A source on Thursday told PTI that five Monkeypox patients are currently admitted to Delhi's Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital. The LNJP Hospital is Delhi's nodal hospital for Monkeypox.
"Twelve positive cases of monkeypox have been reported so far here. Five patients are presently admitted at LNJP Hospital. No suspected patient is admitted there at present," said the source.
A 30-year-old Nigerian woman who had recently tested positive for Monkeypox was the ninth reported case in Delhi.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease caused by the virus of the same name. It belongs to the pox family of viruses. While endemic to Africa, the current outbreak of Monkeypox is worldwide and symptoms as well as medium of spread are considerably different from those previously seen in Africa.
Healthline says that symptoms take 6-13 days to appear after you have contracted the virus and usually last between 5-21 days. It lists the following early symptoms:
- fever, commonly the first symptom
- muscle aches
- back ache
- swollen lymph nodes
Healthline says that rash usually appears within one to three days of the onset of fever. Rashes usually develop on face, eyes, genital area, and limbs.
Monkeypox spreads through close contact with either an infected person or animal. The current outbreak in the West is believed be spreading during sexual activities. The overwhelming number of patients in the West are men who have sex with men. A leading World Health Organisation advisor has suggested that the outbreak might be rooted in two sex rave parties in Europe.
The Government of India as well as several state governments have issued guidelines for the screening, isolation, and treatment of Monkeypox infections.
In May, the Union Health Ministry had directed the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to keep a close watch on the Monekeypox situation in India. Airport and port health officers were also asked to be vigilant.
"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," said sources to PTI at the time.
The Union Health Ministry has also published detailed guidelines that cover various aspects of Monkeypox management, such as collection of samples, isolation and treatment of patients, and contact-tracing. The following steps to manage Monkeypox are listed:
- Patient isolation
- Protection of compromised skin and mucous membranes
- Rehydration therapy and nutritional support
- Symptomatic treatment
- Monitoring and treatment of complications
The Monkeypox management is therefore similar to Covid-19 management as you test the patient, isolate them, and then start the treatment as per symptoms.
The difference is that while several government and private labs can test and confirm Covid-19 infections, only National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune tests and confirms Monkeypox infection.
Moreover, it's not the symptoms or a pre-determined number of days but the resolution of rashes, lesions, and scabs that decides when isolation would end.
"Skin lesions should be covered to the best extent possible (e.g. long sleeves, long pants) to minimise risk of contact with others. Isolation to be continued until all lesions have resolved and scabs have completely fallen off," say Union Health Ministry guidelines.
(With PTI inputs)