UAE fully prepared to deal with monkeypox, says Ministry of Health

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The United Arab Emirates is fully prepared to deal with the monkeypox virus, the Ministry of Health and Prevention said on Sunday.

The country has stepped up security measures to guard against the potential spread of the virus and is closely investigating and monitoring any suspected cases, the official Wam news agency said.

The ministry investigates and assesses the severity of the disease locally and has issued a notice to hospitals to report any suspected cases.

“We have set up precise diagnostic mechanisms. The Technical Advisory Team for Pandemic Control has also prepared a comprehensive guide for surveillance, early disease detection, management of clinically infected patients and precautionary measures,” the ministry said.

We have implemented precise diagnostic mechanisms

Ministry of Health and Prevention

The UAE has prepared in response to reports of monkeypox outbreaks in a number of countries.

The public should not be misled by rumors or misinformation, officials said. On Friday, the health chiefs of Abu Dhabi and Dubai said they were monitoring the situation.

In notices issued on Friday, the Abu Dhabi Department of Health and the Dubai Health Authority urged medical institutions to remain vigilant.

A circular from the Dubai Health Authority spoke of the need “to improve and promote the early detection of the disease”.

It said it was “raising the level of epidemiological surveillance of monkeypox cases” in Dubai with immediate effect.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Health sent a similar message to healthcare providers.

“The likelihood of importation of cases into the UAE is high due to increased international travel,” the circular said.

“Therefore, all healthcare providers should adhere to the following: Increase vigilance to identify cases meeting the case definition; report any suspected, probable or confirmed cases in the infectious disease reporting system in case of unusual illness; send a sample of clinical rash to the referral laboratory at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.

On Sunday, Israel became the first country to report monkeypox in the Middle East.

The World Health Organization has recorded around 80 cases worldwide and around 50 other suspected cases.

Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously only been seen among people with links to West and Central Africa.

But Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United States, Sweden and Canada have all reported infections, mostly in young men who had not traveled to Africa. France, Germany, Belgium and Australia have also identified cases.

What is monkey pox?

Monkeypox is a rare infection usually spread by wild animals in Central and West Africa.

It can be caught by infected wild animals, especially rodents like rats, mice and squirrels.

Infection can be caused by an animal bite or by contact with an animal’s blood or bodily fluids.

It is possible to catch monkeypox by eating meat from an infected animal that has not been properly cooked.

Human-to-human transmission can occur by touching a patient’s towels or bedding, touching monkeypox blisters, or coughing and sneezing.

What are the symptoms?

It takes between five and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear.

These include:

  • high temperature
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • Back ache
  • swollen glands
  • chills and shivers
  • exhaustion

The monkeypox rash is a secondary symptom, usually starting on the face and spreading to other parts of the body.

Symptoms usually disappear in two to four weeks.

Updated: May 22, 2022, 08:53

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