Monkeypox worry: Self-isolate if you have fever, rash
Instructing all international airports and land ports to strengthen monkeypox screening, health officials yesterday asked those suffering from fever and rash to self-isolate and contact nearby public hospitals for tests.
While no death from this zoonotic disease -- monkeypox -- was reported, officials at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) said the viral disease could have severe impact on pregnant women and immuno-compromised and elderly people.
"The virus usually transmits through close contact. But it can also transmit through droplets. So, people who show such symptoms [fever and rash] should wear masks and stay isolated until becoming sure of the disease. If anybody is infected, they have to wear masks and self-isolate," Prof Tahmina Shirin, director of IEDCR, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Besides, people coming from abroad should also stay in quarantine for a few days.
About the treatment, she said, "The treatment will be based on symptoms."
The Directorate General of Health Services has already alerted all public hospitals in this regard, she mentioned.
"The surveillance and health screening have to be strengthened at all international airports and land ports for the passengers coming from the infected countries," read a circular issued by the DGHS on Saturday.
Usually, the infected could recover within four to eight weeks.
So far, over 80 cases of monkeypox, a disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus, have been confirmed in at least 12 countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden, reports BBC.
The World Health Organisation has said another 50 suspected cases were being investigated -- without naming any countries -- and warned that more cases were likely to be reported.
In a statement on Friday, the WHO said the recent outbreaks "are atypical, as they are occurring in non-endemic countries".
The virus does not spread easily between people and the risk of wider transmission is said to be very low.
Monkeypox is most common in remote parts of Central and West Africa.
There is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, but a smallpox jab offers 85 percent protection since the two viruses are quite similar.