Maharashtra on Sunday reported 326 Covid-19 cases, taking the state’s tally to 78,82,802, while the toll remained at 1,47,856 with no fresh deaths reported, an official said. A release from the state health department said 251 patients were discharged during the day, taking the total number of recoveries to 77,33,043 and leaving the state with 1,903 active cases.
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Global health officials have sounded the alarm over rising cases in Europe and elsewhere of monkeypox, a type of viral infection more common in the west and central Africa. World Health Organization (WHO) said that at least 92 monkeypox virus cases have been confirmed in 12 countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden. While so far, no deaths have been reported, about 28 cases in these countries are potential cases. The global health agency also warned that the infection is likely to spread to more nations even as it expands surveillance.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya recently directed the National Centre for Disease Control and the ICMR to keep a close watch on the situation, PTI reported quoting official sources on Friday. The Union health ministry has also directed airport and port health officers to be vigilant, they said.
“The Union Health Minister on Thursday directed the National Centre for Disease Control and the ICMR to keep a close watch and monitor the situation in India,” the official added.
“They have been instructed that any sick passenger with a travel history to Monkeypox-affected countries be isolated and samples sent to the BSL4 facility of the National Institute of Virology in Pune for an investigation,” an official source said.
How dangerous is it?
The risk to the general public is low at this time, a U.S. public health official told reporters at a briefing on Friday.
Monkeypox is a virus that can cause symptoms including fever, and aches and presents with a distinctive bumpy rash.
It is related to smallpox, but is usually milder, particularly the West African strain of the virus that was identified in a U.S. case, which has a fatality rate of around 1%. Most people fully recover in two to four weeks, the official said.
The virus is not as easily transmitted as the SARS-CoV-2 virus that spurred the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Experts believe the current monkeypox outbreak is being spread through close, intimate skin on skin contact with someone who has an active rash. That should make its spread easier to contain once infections are identified, experts said.
“COVID is spread by the respiratory route and is highly infectious. This doesn’t appear to be the case with the monkeypox,” said Dr Martin Hirsch of Massachusetts General Hospital. Many – but not all – of the people who have been diagnosed in the current monkeypox outbreak are men who have sex with men, including cases in Spain linked to a sauna in the Madrid region.