Three days after it was suspected that a child from Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad is suffering from monkeypox, test results have allayed fears about the disease's presence in India. The child's sample was sent for testing to ICMR - National Institute of Virology in Pune and the result was negative.
As of now, no cases of monkeypox have been reported in India. Last week, the Home Ministry issued guidelines on monkeypox disease management to ensure that India is prepared, in view of the rising reports of monkeypox cases in non-endemic countries.
It is important to note that India's Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) has been put on an alert over the monkeypox outbreak in different parts of the country.
So far, the monkeypox endemic countries are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana (identified in animals only), Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, a total of 780 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported or identified since May 13 and as of June 2 from 27 countries across four WHO regions that are not endemic for the monkeypox virus, the World Health Organisation has said. The United Nation's health agency said that while epidemiological investigations are ongoing, most reported cases so far have been presented through sexual health or other health services in primary or secondary health care facilities and have involved mainly, but not exclusively, men who have sex with men (MSM). While the West African clade of the virus has been identified from samples of cases so far, most confirmed cases with travel history reported travel to countries in Europe and North America, rather than West or Central Africa where the monkeypox virus is endemic.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection, most commonly found in tropical areas of west and central Africa. It has mild symptoms, with most infected people recovering in a few weeks. Since its first detection, the disease has been spreading at an unprecedented rate and has already affected over 200 people in more than 20 countries. As per health officials, the viral infection is often caused among those handling monkeys or eating undercooked meat.