After samples from a five-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad, were sent for testing for monkeypox, government health sources have said that it is "unnecessary panic mongering" and that no cases of the disease have been reported from India so far.
"The sample of a suspected monkeypox case in Ghaziabad has been sent for testing, but it's unnecessary panic mongering. No monkeypox case has been reported in India so far," the government sources told ANI.
The health department in Ghaziabad sent the samples of the girl for monkeypox after she complained of itching and rashes on her body.
The Chief Medical Officer of Ghaziabad said the test was just a "precautionary measure" as the girl has no other health issues and did not have close contact with anyone who has travelled abroad in the past month.
"Samples of a five-year-old girl have been collected for testing for monkeypox, as a precautionary measure, as she had complaints of itching and rashes on her body. She has no other health issues and neither she nor any of her close contacts travelled abroad in the past month," CMO Ghaziabad said.
On Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry issued "Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease" to ensure advance preparedness across the country, in view of the rising reports of monkeypox cases in non-endemic countries.
According to the guidelines, a confirmed case is laboratory confirmed for Monkeypox virus by detection of unique sequences of viral DNA either by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or sequencing.
"All the clinical specimens should be transported to the Apex Laboratory of ICMR-NIV (Pune) routed through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network of the respective district/state," it said in the guidelines.
The Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease include the epidemiology of the disease (including host, incubation period, period of communicability and mode of transmission; contact and case definitions; clinical features and its complication, diagnosis, case management, risk communication, guidance on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) including use of personal protective equipment.
"Contacts should be monitored at least daily for the onset of signs or symptoms for a period of 21 days (as per case definition) from the last contact with a patient or their contaminated materials during the infectious period," the guidelines read.
Raising awareness of risk factors, it further explained in detail about raising awareness and educating people about the measures for monkeypox virus-like avoiding contact with any material of the sick person, isolation of the infected patient from others, practising good hand hygiene and using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.
The health ministry also said that the monkeypox has been reported as an endemic in several other central and western African countries such as Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone. However, cases have been also reported in certain non-endemic countries e.g. USA, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Austria, Israel, Switzerland etc.