Early diagnosis, contact tracing systems needed now: WHO chief scientist on monkeypox

As the world tries to better understand the spread of monkeypox, World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan says there is a small window to contain the disease before it hits. become endemic.

Swaminathan said mint in an email interview that the need of the hour was to implement systems for early diagnosis and contact tracing. “Every effort should be made to control the human-to-human spread of monkeypox through early case detection and diagnosis, isolation and contact tracing,” Soumya said. “There is a small window to contain this infection before it becomes endemic in many countries. Depending on its course, vaccines may be needed in the future to control monkeypox, in addition to public health measures .”

Read also : Monkeypox cases made ‘underground’ by anti-gay stigma in India

Soumya expressed concern about the rapid spread of monkeypox in many countries through new modes of transmission. “Due to the increasing likelihood of human-animal interactions (forest loss, trade and travel), we can expect more zoonotic infections to affect humans,” she said.

The WHO recently declared monkeypox a global public health emergency of international concern. The organization said monkeypox was a viral zoonosis – a virus transmitted to humans from animals – with symptoms similar to smallpox, although clinically less severe.

The disease is usually manifested by fever, rashes and swollen lymph nodes, but medical complications can occur in some cases. Symptoms usually last two to four weeks.

The “Guidelines for the Management of Monkeypox Disease,” published by the Center, stated that human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through large respiratory droplets which typically require prolonged close contact. Transmission can also occur through direct contact with bodily fluids or lesions, and through indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated clothing or towels from an infected person.

Animal-to-human transmission can occur through bites or scratches from infected animals or through the preparation of bushmeat.

(With PTI inputs)