Mumbai corporation keeps 28-bed ward ready for suspected monkeypox cases

In the wake of monkeypox cases reported from some countries, the Municipal Berhan Foundation Mumbai has maintained a separate 28-bed ward at Kasturba Hospital to isolate suspected patients, officials said on Monday.

So far, no suspected or confirmed case of the zoonotic viral disease has been reported in Mumbai, according to officials at the institution’s public health department.

The company said that airport authorities are screening passengers arriving from endemic and non-endemic countries that have reported outbreaks. Their test samples will be sent to the NIV (National Institute of Virology) laboratory in Pune. All health facilities in Mumbai are advised to notify and refer any suspected case to Kasturba Hospital”, read an advisory issued by the Ministry of Health.

The World Health Organization has recorded more than 90 cases of monkeypox in 12 countries, including Britain, Spain, Israel, France, Switzerland, the United States and Australia.

Monkeypox usually causes fever, chills, rashes, and lesions on the face or genitals. It can be spread through close contact with an infected person or their clothing or bed linen, but sexual transmission has not been documented.

Most people recover from the disease within several weeks without requiring hospitalization. Vaccines against smallpox, a related disease, are also effective in preventing monkeypox, and some antiviral drugs are being developed.

The disease can be fatal in about 10 percent of infections, but no deaths have been reported during the current outbreak. The World Health Organization described the outbreak as “atypical” and said the fact that cases had emerged in so many different countries suggested the disease may have been spreading silently for some time.

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