Isolation for 21 days, wearing of masks, observance of hand hygiene, full coverage of lesions and waiting for their full recovery are among central government guidelines for monkeypox patients and their contacts.
The nation’s capital reported one confirmed case of monkeypox, bringing the total number of such patients in the country to four.
So far, 14 contacts of Delhi’s first monkeypox patient have been identified and none of them have shown symptoms, sources said, adding that one of the contacts complained of body aches, but he is fine now and has no symptoms.
Another suspected case was admitted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital in Delhi and the samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune.
Officials, however, said there was no need to panic. One must remain in isolation for 21 days from the last contact with a patient with monkeypox or their contaminated material, they said.
Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis that is transmitted to humans from animals with symptoms similar to those seen in smallpox patients, although clinically less severe.
Due to recent developments, the Center has published guidelines for the management of monkeypox. The Delhi government has ordered its hospitals and 11 tax districts to follow the guidelines.
The Center’s guidelines state that health care workers who have been unprotected exposed to monkeypox patients or possibly contaminated materials should not be removed from duty if asymptomatic, but should be monitored. symptom monitoring for 21 days.
The infected person should wear a triple-ply mask while skin lesions should be covered as much as possible to minimize the risk of contact with others, according to the guidelines.
He said patients should stay in isolation until all lesions have healed and the scabs have completely fallen off.
Explaining the process of identifying a contact, an official said a person who comes into contact with an infected person through face-to-face exposure, direct physical contact, or comes into contact with contaminated materials such as clothing or bedding is identified as a Primary Contact.
“District surveillance teams are asking contacts to self-monitor their symptoms and stay in contact with them. Preferably, contacts should self-isolate in separate rooms but they can also stay in the same room. They should ideally wear a mask and follow hand hygiene and social distancing standards,” an official said.
The official also said asymptomatic contacts should not donate blood, cells, tissues, organs or semen under supervision.
Monkeypox usually manifests with fever, headache, rash lasting up to three weeks, sore throat, cough, and swollen lymph nodes.
Symptoms include lesions, which usually start within one to three days of the onset of fever, last about two to four weeks, and are often described as painful until the healing phase, when they turn into itchy rashes. .
In May this year, several cases of monkeypox were identified in several non-endemic countries. Globally, more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 75 countries and there have been five deaths from the outbreak so far. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared monkeypox a global public health emergency of international concern.