A five-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad is being tested for monkeypox after she complained of itching and rashes on her body.
The Chief Medical Officer of Ghaziabad said that the test is just a "precautionary measure" as the girl has no other health issues, nor does she have close contact with anyone who has travelled abroad in the past month.
"Samples of a five-year-old girl have been collected for testing for monkeypox, as a precautionary measure, as she had complaints of itching and rashes on her body. She has no other health issues and neither she nor any of her close contacts travelled abroad in the past one month," CMO Ghaziabad said.
On Tuesday, in view of the increasing reports of Monkeypox (MPX) cases in non-endemic countries, Union Health Ministry acted proactively and issued 'Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease' to ensure advance preparedness across the country.
As per the guidelines, a confirmed case is laboratory confirmed for monkeypox virus by detection of unique sequences of viral DNA either by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or sequencing.
"All the clinical specimens should be transported to the Apex Laboratory of ICMR-NIV (Pune) routed through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network of the respective district/state," it said in the guidelines.
The Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease include the epidemiology of the disease (including host, incubation period, period of communicability and mode of transmission; contact and case definitions; clinical features and its complication, diagnosis, case management, risk communication, guidance on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) including use of personal protective equipment.
"The guidelines stress surveillance and rapid identification of new cases as the key public health measures for outbreak containment, mandating the need to reduce the risk of human-to-human transmission. It explains the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures, IPC at home, patient isolation and ambulance transfer strategies, additional precautions that need to be taken care of and duration of isolation procedures," the statement reads.
As per the guidelines, contacts should be monitored at least daily for the onset of signs/symptoms for a period of 21 days (as per case definition) from the last contact with a patient or their contaminated materials during the infectious period.
Raising awareness of risk factors, the guidelines further explain in detail about raising awareness and educating people about the measures for Monkeypox virus-like avoiding contact with any material of the sick person, isolation of the infected patient from others, practising good hand hygiene and using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.
The Ministry further said that the Monkeypox has been reported as endemic in several other central and western African countries such as Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone. However, cases have been also reported in certain non-endemic countries e.g. USA, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Austria, Israel, Switzerland etc.
Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare continues to maintain a close watch over the evolving situation.