The UAE’s health ministry is “proactively investigating and closely monitoring any suspect cases” of viral zootonic disease monkeypox. The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) said on Sunday that it is fully prepared to handle the spread of the virus that causes the disease, state news agency Wam reported.
The ministry said it is currently studying and evaluating the seriousness of the disease locally. It has issued a circular to hospitals and healthcare centres to monitor symptoms of the disease among patients. Facilities are to report suspected cases to the authorities concerned.
"We have put in place precise mechanisms for diagnosing suspected patients. The technical advisory team for pandemic control has also prepared a comprehensive guide for surveillance, early detection of the disease, management of clinically infected patients and precautionary measures," the ministry said.
The MoHAP said it is closely monitoring the spread of monkeypox worldwide and “intensifying” the local epidemiological surveillance in cooperation with other health entities to detect any possible cases and prevent the local spread of the virus.
The World Health Organisation said on Sunday that it expects to identify more cases of monkeypox as it expands surveillance in countries where the disease is not typically found.
As on Saturday, 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported from 12 member states that are not endemic for the virus, the UN agency said.
The MoHAP said monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions. The disease is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.
The virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding. Though rare and usually mild, monkeypox can still potentially cause severe illness.
Before the recent outbreak, the disease used to be limited to a small and medium group of people, which highlights the fact that it has a low human-to-human transmission possibility. Though rare and usually mild, monkeypox can still potentially cause severe illness.
The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from seven to 14 days but can extend to 21. The infection begins with a skin eruption, which usually appears three days after suffering from fever. Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications.
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