Monkeypox: UAE 'assessing situation' after reporting first case

Health ministry lists out tips to stay safe; reveals treatment and vaccination protocol



Reuters
Reuters
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 25 May 2022, 6:36 PM

Last updated: Wed 25 May 2022, 10:44 PM

With the UAE detecting its first case of viral zoonotic disease monkeypox, the country’s health authorities are currently assessing the situation. A government spokesperson confirmed the UAE’s readiness in dealing with the virus.

“We have seen the efficiency and professionalism of all state agencies when dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. The UAE’s health sector is fully prepared to deal with any cases that may be detected,” the government spokesperson said in a virtual media briefing on Wednesday.

The first case was detected in a 29-year-old woman who arrived from West Africa.

The spokesperson stressed the need for residents to take all due preventive measures. These include personal hygiene, avoiding using things used by a sick individual and avoiding contact with those with skin rashes, among others.

Treatment and vaccination

The spokesperson reiterated that in most cases, the symptoms cease within two to four weeks.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention had tweeted yesterday that an antiviral drug may be used in severe cases for a limited period of time.

Vaccine

The third-generation smallpox vaccine, which is not widely available, can be used after exposure or infection to prevent its spread, the ministry had tweeted in its advisory on Tuesday.

Prevention tips

The ministry had listed a series of tips:

  • In light of international reports on recorded cases of transmission due to sexual activity, it is recommended to avoid unprotected sex
  • Avoid physical contact with infected individuals and do not share personal items such as towels and bed linen
  • Wear gloves and the necessary personal protective equipment when caring for patients
  • Wash hands regularly
  • Cook all animal products well before consumption
  • Wear gloves and protective clothing when approaching sick animals

Monkeypox is a rare disease of animal origin, which has been around in West and Central Africa since the 1950s.

Nearly 20 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks of the viral disease, with more than 100 confirmed or suspected infections.

sahim@khaleetimes.com

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