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Updated 2 June 2022

In the midst of the outbreak of Monkeypox, India has not yet reported or confirmed any Monkeypox virus recently. Below, we have gathered all the information that you need about the Monkeypox in India. Read further to find out.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.

Monkeypox is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as clothing, bedding, or other items used in healthcare settings.

In most cases, people typically recover within two to four weeks without needing to be hospitalized. In some cases, however, monkeypox can also be fatal.

What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?

Monkeypox has an incubation period from seven to 14 days. The initial symptoms of monkeypox are similar to influenza with fever, chills, exhaustion, headache, muscle weakness and swelling in lymph nodes.

The widespread rashes all over the infected bodies include the inside the mouth, palms of the hands, and feet.

However, it is been reported that the rashes are mostly in the genital area for the early stages of the illness.

Monkeypox prevention

Here are the things that you can do to prevent the spread of the Monkeypox:

  • Keep your hands clean by washing them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
  • Prevent animal to human transmission
  • Avoid any contact with wild animals
  • Cook meat properly
  • Avoid any objects that have been in contact with a sick animal
  • Prevent human to human transmission
  • Avoid contact with any person who has a rash
  • Avoid contact with any object that has been in contact with a sick person

Monkeypox virus cases in India

As of now, there are no suspected or confirmed cases of the Monkeypox virus in India. However, as reported by Dr. Nivedita Gupta, the head of virology at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), unlike coronavirus, monkeypox will not spread like wildfire, but vigil has been stepped up across India.

Dr. Abraham, the Director of ICMR stated in an interview that “Monkeypox is not as transmissible as the Covid-19 virus and the present outbreak gives no cause for undue panic. Transmission between humans takes place through close contact with respiratory secretions (large droplets), skin lesions, or recently contaminated objects. Hence, health care workers, members of households, and other close contacts of active cases of monkeypox are at increased risk”.

Moreover, the World Health Organisation Country Office for India has sought the assistance of India’s ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune help to test suspected cases of monkeypox for the south-east Asia region (SEAR) member-states.

Monkeypox and India travel restrictions

Currently, India has not established any travel restrictions to prevent the spread of Monkeypox. However, the country’s top health research arm is closely monitoring the global surge of monkeypox virus and evaluating the possible options. The states are taking all the necessary precautions with the Mumbai civic body keeping a separate 28-bed ward ready at the Kasturba Hospital for the isolation of suspected patients.

Monkeypox Travel Bans and Restrictions: What We Know So Far

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has advised individuals having history of travel within last 21 days to any of the affected countries to stay monitor their health closely, especially those with an unexplained acute rash or other symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, and weakness.

The Health Ministry in India also advised travellers to avoid close contact with sick people, including those with skin lesions or genital lesions. The health authorities in India have also warned people against encountering dead or live wild animals such rodents and non-human primates (monkeys, apes) or eating or preparing meat from wild game (bushmeat), using products derived from wild animals from Africa.

The authorities have further stated that for now, they are adopting a wait-and-watch policy. Two of the country’s Institute laboratory groups are ready to do the testing, and the country is well equipped and prepared.