India on Friday stepped up surveillance at all international entry points for monkeypox infections amid growing global concerns of an unusual outbreak, that has led to cases being reported in parts of Europe, US and Australia.
The World Health Organization also held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the recent outbreak.
In Europe, infections have been reported in Britain, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. On Wednesday, US officials reported one case of monkeypox in a man who had recently travelled to Canada, where authorities are investigating potential infections.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and infection and the U.K.’s Health Security Agency said they are investigating a range of cases including those among individuals who slf-identify as men who have sex with men, and urged gay and bisexual men in particular to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions.
In the U.K. alone, cases have doubled since the first was identified on May 7. The country now has 20 confirmed cases of monkeypox, though there are concerns there may be many more undetected.
Individuals exhibiting symptoms of the virus — which include rashes and fever — are being urged to seek medical advice, contacting any clinic before visiting.
was first detected in monkeys kept at a research facility in 1958. The first human case of monkey pox was reported in 1970 from Congo in Africa.
In what Germany described as the largest outbreak in Europe ever, cases have been reported in at least nine countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom – as well as the United States, Canada and Australia.
According to a senior official of India’s Health Ministry, airport health officers, land border health officers and port health officers have been apprised.
Health officers will watch out for passengers with symptoms of monkey pox, isolate them, and send their samples to the National Institute of Virology at Pune.