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PTI, August 3, 2022, 2:18 PM IST

Representative image (Source: Reuters)

New Delhi: With monkeypox cases on the rise in the country, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday released a list of do’s and don’ts to avoid contracting the disease. He also pointed out that anyone can catch the virus if they have had prolonged or repeated contact with an infected person.

Among the backs, the ministry advised isolating the infected person from others so the disease does not spread, using hand sanitizers or washing hands with soap and water, cover the mouth with masks and the hands with disposable gloves when near a patient, and use disinfectants to sanitize the surrounding environment.

The don’t state avoids sharing linens, bedding, clothing, towels, among others, with people who have tested positive for the infection.

The ministry has advised not to wash soiled laundry or the laundry of patients and uninfected people together, and to avoid public events even if you only have symptoms of the disease.

“Do not stigmatize people who have contracted the virus, as well as suspected patients. Also, don’t believe any rumors or misinformation,” he said.

Meanwhile, a monkeypox task force has been formed to closely monitor the emerging situation in the country and decide on response initiatives to combat the spread of the disease.

It will also advise the government on expanding diagnostic facilities in the country and explore emerging trends related to vaccination against the disease, official sources told PTI.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared monkeypox a global public health emergency of international concern.

According to the WHO, monkeypox is a viral zoonosis – a virus transmitted to humans from animals – with symptoms similar to smallpox although clinically less severe.

Monkeypox usually manifests with fever, rashes, and swollen lymph nodes and can lead to various medical complications. It is usually a self-limiting disease with symptoms lasting two to four weeks.

The “Guidelines for the Management of Monkeypox Disease” published by the Center stated that human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through large respiratory droplets generally requiring prolonged close contact.

It can also be transmitted by direct contact with bodily fluids or lesions, and by indirect contact with lesion material, for example through contaminated clothing or linens of an infected person. Animal-to-human transmission can occur by biting or scratching infected animals or by preparing bushmeat.

The incubation period is typically six to 13 days, and the case fatality rate of monkeypox has historically reached 11% in the general population and higher in children. Lately, the case fatality rate has been around 3-6%.

Symptoms include lesions that usually begin 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 become itchy.

A noticeable predilection for the palms and soles of the feet is characteristic of monkeypox, according to the guidelines.