Center planning serological survey among contacts of monkeypox patients
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) may conduct a serological survey among the contacts of monkeypox patients to check for the presence of antibodies and determine how many of them were asymptomatic, official sources said on Friday.
At this time, it is unclear what proportion of people remain asymptomatic from the virus infection, they said.
India has reported ten cases of monkeypox so far. “We are planning to conduct a serological survey among close contacts of people with monkeypox in India to check for the presence of antibodies in them.
“The idea is to find out how many of them have contracted the disease due to exposure to infected people and have not shown symptoms. Discussions are at a very nascent stage at the moment,” said a source.
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 through direct contact with bodily fluids or lesions, and through indirect contact with lesion material, such as 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.
The WHO has declared monkeypox a global public health emergency of international concern.
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