Karachi reports another suspected monkeypox case

KARACHI: Karachi has reported another suspected case of monkeypox on Friday, National Institute of Child Health (NICH) said.

As per sources, a seven years old boy, who is a resident of Karachi’s Lyari was brought to National Institute of Child Health (NICH) with the monkeypox-like symptoms.

The child has been admitted to the monkeypox isolation ward in the hospital. The sources within the NICH said that there is no travel history of the suspected patient and said the symptoms are like those of mpox but the confirmation will come after the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) report.

Earlier, Sindh health minister Dr Azra Fazl Pechuho ruled out the detection of monkeypox cases in Karachi.

The rebuttal followed after it emerged that three cases of monkeypox had been reported in the Sindh capital.

The Sindh minister in her statement said no passenger has tested positive for mpox at the Jinnah International Airport (Karachi airport) and added that airport administration is not authorised to pass the information without confirmation.

Sindh health ministry is closely monitoring the situation and isolation wards have also been established at Jinnah and Chankda hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Border Health Services on Friday issued Mpox (Monkeypox) advisory to the health authorities to enhance screening of inbound passengers at all international airports on the recent case detection in the country.

According to an official of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination, the ministry and National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) are vigilantly monitoring the situation.

He added they are monitoring the situation both at the national and global levels while keeping all the relevant stakeholders on board for ensuring preparedness, timely response, and containment of Mpox cases in Pakistan.

He said that the NIH, provincial health departments and Border Health Services at all Airports, District Health authorities at Islamabad and provinces have been advised to ensure surveillance through laboratory diagnostics, contact tracing, rapid identification of suspected cases and clusters of infections as well as the source of infection in order to provide optimal clinical care, isolate cases to prevent further transmission, identify, manage and follow-up contacts to recognize early signs of infection, identify risk groups for infection and for severe disease, protect frontline health workers, and tailor effective control and prevention measures.

He said that as there is no evidence of localized transmission of Mpox as of now in Pakistan, the risk of the international spread of disease from Pakistan remains low. The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend any restrictions on trade on the currently available information regarding Mpox outbreaks.

In Pakistan, since May 2022, a total of 22 samples from suspected cases were referred from different parts of the country, and PCR tests were carried out at NIH for the Monkeypox virus. The first case has been confirmed by NIH from travelers who arrived recently in Pakistan and have been isolated at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital alongwith others who are being investigated.

Monkeypox has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International concern on July 22 by WHO and reportable to WHO under IHR 2005. Monkeypox (Mpox) is a viral zoonotic disease caused by the pox virus (MPXV) and is a contagious disease.

It can be transmitted from infected animals to humans or from infected humans to other humans via close contact and droplets. As of now a total of around 87,000 laboratory-confirmed cases and 119 deaths have been reported from 111 countries globally.

The number of cases reported weekly at the global level peaked in August 2022, and since then, the cases have been steadily declining.



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