Home Latest NICH rejects reports of monkeypox cases in Sindh – The Express Tribune

NICH rejects reports of monkeypox cases in Sindh – The Express Tribune

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Health experts say two children admitted may be infected by measles
The National Institute of Child Health (NICH) has rejected the reports of monkeypox cases surfacing in Sindh as rumours, with one of its leading doctors saying that the two children – one from Karachi and the other from Larkana who were reportedly infected by the disease – might have measles.
“Both the children have been kept in the isolation ward [as a precautionary measure],” NICH Executive Director Nasir Saleem Sadal told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.
“No two cases of monkeypox were reported at the NICH. The reports on media about the cases are just rumours,” he added.
Sindh Health Services director general also clarified the rumours.
“The two children admitted to the NICH have not been diagnosed with monkeypox at present and there is no facility in Sindh to diagnose the disease as it has not been reported in Pakistan yet,” Dr Juman Bahoto said.
Next week, the Sindh Health Department will hold an important meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO) to seek technical assistance for the diagnosis of monkeypox, Bahoto added.
Also read: Health authorities asked to remain vigilant on suspected monkeypox cases
However, Dow University of Health Sciences Pathology Professor Dr Saeed Khan told The Express Tribune that work had started on the university’s Ojha Campus to diagnose monkeypox.
“The virus will also be diagnosed with a PCR test, the results of which will come in 24 hours.”
He said that special kits and other equipment have been ordered for the diagnosis of monkeypox and the diagnosis of this virus will start at Ojha Campus from next week.
Dispelling the rumours, Dr Faisal Mahmood, the section head of Infectious Diseases at Aga Khan University Hospital, said the strain with a 1% mortality rate as compared to Covid-19 had not been detected in Pakistan.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, the AKUH infectious disease expert said, “Monkeypox does not spread as easily as Covid as yet”, strongly recommending to seek help from any doctor if any indicators arise.
Shedding light on the symptoms of the new disease, Dr Mahmood said, “Fever, aches and bumpy rashes are what need to be looked out for amongst the Pakistani population as well. These are the main symptoms. Fever followed by bumpy rashes.”
He further said, “But now we know the main hosts of monkeypox are rodents, especially rats.”
Also read: High alert declared against monkeypox
On the spread of the monkeypox virus and the preventive measures that can be taken, the infectious disease expert said, “The virus is spread through close contact with the lesions. Also it can spread through the air, but the person needs to be closer and also for a longer period of time. Precaution is therefore aimed at preventing these exposures.”
He highlighted that precautions include staying in a separate room and handling laundry with care. “No specific medications are recommended here.”
Dr Mahmood confirmed that the period of recovery from monkeypox lasts from at least two to four weeks and people testing positive need to be quarantined “till the bumpy rash crusts and the crusts fall off”.
To a question about the monkeypox vaccine, he said, “Yes, the smallpox vaccine has found to work against this and is also approved in the US for use to prevent monkeypox.”
AKUH’s disease expert regretted that “unfortunately there is no test to detect monkeypox before the symptoms begin”.
To another question if Dr Mahmood could foresee a nationwide lockdown because of monkeypox, he said: “Not at all. This is not as contagious and will not likely spread.”
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