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Reviewed 30 June 2022

In the midst of the outbreak of Monkeypox, UAE has reported its first case of Monkeypox recently. Below, we have gathered all the information that you need about the Monkeypox in the UAE. 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 in up to 6 per cent of cases and could also be more severe in children.

What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?

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

The widespread of rashes all over the infected bodies include the inside the mouth, palms of the hands, and the feet. Moreover, it has been reported that the rashes are mostly in the genital area for the early stages of the illness.

The most distinguished ways of transmission of the Monkeypox infection from one person to another are typically through contact with body fluids and respiratory droplets, contact with skin lesions of an infected person and contact with contaminated surfaces.

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 the UAE

UAE has so far confirmed a total number of 13 Monkeypox infections in the country and 2 recoveries from the virus. The first case of Monkeypox was recorded from a 29-years-old woman who arrived from the West Africa on May 24th 2022. However, it is been reported that the risk of getting infected or the risk of an outbreak is minimal as transmission requires close contact with the infected person or the person’s contaminated object, according to the DHA.

Monkeypox Guidelines

As per the guidelines issued by Dubai Health Authority (DHA), an individual with clinical symptoms of the virus confirmed by a laboratory test will be classified as a ‘confirmed case’.

PCR throat swabs and dry swab tests have been approved to detect the Monkeypox virus. Individuals with confirmed cases will need to adhere to the isolation guidelines issued by the DHA as follows:

  • The patient must self-isolate until they receive their positive PCR test results.
  • Positive cases will be contacted and briefed by the DHA on how to complete the isolation procedures.
  • If the symptoms worsen, the patient will be advised to admit themselves to the nearest medical centre or hospital.
  • Patients are required to self-isolate either at home or in the institutional isolation facility for 21 days.

Those who have been in contact with infected patients must confine themselves in a single room for a period of 21 days. If they show symptoms of the disease, they must visit the nearest medical centre or hospital and get themselves tested.

Monkeypox and UAE travel restrictions

Currently, UAE have not established any travel restrictions to prevent the spread of Monkeypox. However, confirmed cases will need to completely isolate in hospitals until they recover and close contacts with such persons will need to quarantine at home for 21 days, with monitoring from UAE officials.

The Department of Health in Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) have instructed all healthcare facilities to report suspected cases according to the system, and take the necessary precautionary and medical measures to detect any infection cases.

Monkeypox Travel Bans and Restrictions: What We Know So Far

The UAE government has also warned residents to stay updated with the Monkeypox cases via legitimate and trusted sources only to avoid any misleading news and rumours.