UAE fully prepared to tackle monkeypox, say doctors

Experts underline that lessons learnt from dealing with Covid-19 have raised the country's healthcare standards

By SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Fri 27 May 2022, 5:09 PM

Last updated: Fri 27 May 2022, 10:37 PM

Healthcare professionals say UAE's effective handling of Covid-19 is a testament to the nation's ability to tackle monkeypox.

The UAE reported its first monkeypox case on May 24. The infection was identified in a 29-year-old visitor from West Africa. But the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has reiterated that the country is fully prepared to handle any challenges.

Though a case has been reported in the country, healthcare experts have assured residents that there is no need to panic, as regulatory bodies have enhanced their surveillance for suspected cases.

Dr Jyoti Upadhyay, internal medicine specialist, Aster Hospital, Mankhool, said: "It is a fact that the cases are rising in the West. But in the UAE, everything is under control."

Highlighting the UAE's previous experience handling the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Upadhyay said the healthcare system has "learned a lot from defeating a deadly pandemic".

Lessons learnt from dealing with a pandemic have raised the UAE's healthcare standards, said Dr Mohamed Rafique, medical director and pulmonology specialist, Prime Hospital.

"The country is ready and prepared for any outbreak," he said.

Monkeypox is milder compared to Covid-19 and less contagious, according to experts. "Monkeypox is not that contagious, though human to human transmission is possible with low infectivity," said Dr Rafique.

Doctors also praised government health entities for setting guidelines the moment news broke about the emergence of monkeypox in other nations.

"The departments are also posting regular updates and praiseworthy surveillance mechanisms, along with diagnostic facilities to pick up suspected cases," Dr Rafique said.

Dr Upadhayay added: “Even the residents here are educated and people now know how to keep viral infections away."

Though monkeypox doesn't spread as easily as Covid, doctors have urged residents not to let their guard down.

"The Ministry of Health and Prevention and other regulatory bodies are closely monitoring the situation," Dr Upadhayay said. "A fool-proof mechanism is in place. There is no need for panicking and we are all safe."

Monkeypox spreads when a person comes into contact with any of the following:

> Lesions

> Body fluids

> Respiratory droplets

> Contaminated materials such as bedding


In case of any symptoms, such as fever, rashes on the body or swollen lymph nodes, doctors have advised residents to consult their healthcare provider. Other symptoms include severe headache, muscle aches, fatigue and swelling of glands in the neck.

"The skin rashes usually begin one to three days after developing a fever. One should self-isolate immediately if symptoms persist," said Dr Upadhayay.

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