The National Health Institute (NHI), Pakistan’s top health body, has issued a high alert for Monkeypox — after a rapid spread of cases was observed in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The top health body of the country put federal and provincial health officials on high alert, and issued directives for increased vigilance and monitoring of passengers at airports and other points of entry into the country, as timely detection of the virus is essential.
According to the notification, all public and private hospitals have also been instructed to be on stand-by for and maintain isolation wards, in case the need arrises, as monkeypox is said to be contagious.
There are 92 confirmed and 28 suspected cases of the virus all over the world, the notification said, adding that the natural reservoir of monkeypox remains unknown.
It is believed that African rodents and non-human primates, such as monkeys, may harbor the virus and transmit them to humans.
Once infected with the virus, the patient develops a fever, followed by a rash three days later, which begins on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. Lesions eventually turn to scabs and fall of the body.
Other symptoms of the virus include headaches, muscle aches, lethargy and the swelling of the lymph nodes. The illness lasts for around 2 weeks, with an incubation period ranging from 5 to 21 days.
Transmission of the disease occurs through contact with an infected person, animal or material, including body fluids.
According to the World Health Organization, more cases of monkeypox emerging in the next few days are to be expected.