Monkeypox is a rare viral disease similar to smallpox but generally milder in severity. The virus is transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals, such as rodents or primates.
Pakistan has recently reported monkeypox cases, with the third case confirmed in Punjab on May 2nd, 2023.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed the third case of monkeypox in Mandi Bahauddin. The patient had recently returned to Pakistan from abroad and had a check-up due to deteriorating health.
The team from DHQ Hospital Mandi Bahauddin sent samples to NIH Islamabad for testing, and the health institute confirmed the presence of the virus.
Monkeypox Previous Cases in Punjab
The monkeypox case in Pakistan was identified through laboratory testing. The DHQ Hospital Mandi Bahauddin sent samples to NIH Islamabad, which is the national reference laboratory for infectious diseases. The tests confirmed that the patient was infected with monkeypox.
The previous two cases of monkeypox in Pakistan were also reported in Punjab, specifically in Rawalpindi. These cases were also among individuals who had traveled from abroad. The confirmation of the third case has raised concerns about the possibility of an outbreak in the region.
Laboratory testing is essential for the timely identification of infectious diseases. It enables healthcare professionals to provide appropriate medical care and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.
Response from Punjab Health Minister Dr. Javed Akram
In response to the monkeypox case, the Punjab Health Minister, Dr. Javed Akram, stated that the government is taking all necessary measures to control the spread of the disease. He emphasized the importance of public awareness and urged people to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.
Dr. Akram also said that the government is providing necessary medical care to the patient and that the authorities are tracing all people who may have come into contact with the patient. He urged people to report any monkeypox symptoms immediately so they can be treated promptly.
Symptoms and Transmission of Monkeypox
Monkeypox is a viral disease that is similar to smallpox but less severe. The symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A rash then develops, often appearing on the face and after the trunk and extremities.
Infected animals such as monkeys, rodents, and squirrels transmit monkeypox through contact. It can also spread from person to person through respiratory droplets, contact with bodily fluids, and contact with contaminated objects.
Precautions to Prevent Monkeypox
To prevent the spread of monkeypox, it is essential to take precautions. These include washing hands frequently with soap and water and avoiding contact with infected animals. It also includes avoiding contact with people who have symptoms of monkeypox. Moreover, wear masks when any case appears in the area.
People who are traveling to areas where monkeypox is common should take extra precautions, such as wearing protective clothing and avoiding contact with animals. They should also check with their healthcare provider to see if they need a vaccine against monkeypox.
Impact on Healthcare System
The confirmation of the third case of monkeypox in Punjab has put immense pressure on the healthcare system. The health ministry has allocated additional resources to tackle the outbreak. Furthermore, it has established isolation wards in hospitals.
The Ministry of Health is also conducting awareness campaigns to educate the public about the symptoms of monkeypox and the measures to prevent its spread.
The confirmation of monkeypox cases in Pakistan has raised concerns among travelers. Several countries have issued travel advisories to their citizens. They advised them to avoid non-essential travel to Pakistan.
The health ministry has established screening measures at airports and other points of entry to detect individuals with symptoms of monkeypox.
In conclusion, the confirmation of monkeypox cases in Pakistan, including the recent case in Punjab, highlights the importance of taking appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. The health ministry is working to contain the outbreak. It has established isolation wards in hospitals.
Additionally, it is spreading awareness campaigns to educate the public about the symptoms and prevention of monkeypox. Some countries have issued travel advisories. The health ministry has implemented screening measures at entry points to detect individuals with symptoms of this virus.
Individuals must take responsibility for their health and follow the guidelines provided by health authorities to protect themselves and others from the virus. While the outbreak is concerning, it is necessary to remain calm, stay informed, and take the obligatory precautions to stay safe.