New Delhi: The city registered its fifth monkeypox case after a woman of African origin tested positive on Saturday. The 22-year-old from Nigeria, the second woman to test positive in India, has a history of recent international travel. She is admitted in Lok Nayak Hospital, the nodal hospital for monkeypox in Delhi.
“The patient was admitted two days ago. Her reports came on Friday night. She was in the southern part of the city for a month,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of the hospital. The previous four cases have all been discharged from the hospital, which were all locally transmitted. Of the four, one patient was from Delhi and the remaining three were of Nigerian origin.
Apart from Lok Nayak Hospital, there are five other hospitals that have been assigned to reserve beds for admission of monkeypox patients.
According to the guidelines issued by the Union ministry of health and family welfare, if a person has the history of travelling to monkeypox-affected countries in the past 21 days, has symptoms like swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, bodyache, rashes, weakness, respiratory symptoms, etc, that person could be suspected to be infected by the monkeypox virus.
The precautions to be followed for avoiding the infection of monkeypox include preventing exposure to an infected person. The disease can be spread through direct physical contact with the skin or skin wounds of an infected individual, or by contact with materials used by the infected person, such as clothing, bedding or utensils.
Delhi government said in a statement on Saturday that the district surveillance units had been put up to keep vigil on cases and patients, including contact tracing and follow up. Instructions had been issued to all government and private hospitals to notify all suspected cases of monkeypox as per the case definition and refer them to the designated hospitals for isolation and management in coordination with district surveillance units.
Meanwhile, the state surveillance unit is also coordinating with the district units, and the Airport Health Organisation at IGI Airport.
“All staff of CATS are trained and sensitised as per the guidelines for ambulance transfer of suspect/confirmed cases. NIV Pune and AIIMS Delhi are identified laboratories for testing and diagnosis of monkeypox,” the statement from the state health department said.