The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced three new cases of monkeypox. With these, the total number of infections recorded in the country stands at 16.
The cases were recorded as part of the UAE health authorities' policy on early detection and monitoring of the viral zoonotic disease. The new infections come after over 45 days since the country recorded its last confirmed cases. It had detected five cases on June 7.
The MoHAP has urged residents to follow “appropriate preventive and safety measures, and precautions while travelling and moving in large crowds”.
The ministry had earlier advised travellers to avoid contact with infected animals (dead and living); refrain from eating or touching wild animals; and wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based disinfectant.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday declared monkeypox a global emergency, calling the outbreak in more than 70 countries an “extraordinary” situation.
The MoHAP has reassured the public that the UAE's health authorities are taking all necessary measures, including investigation, examination of contacts, and monitoring their health. It said the health sector is ready to deal with all communicable diseases.
The UAE had reported its first monkeypox case on May 24. The infection was identified in a 29-year-old visitor from West Africa.
The ministry had earlier detailed the isolation and quarantine procedures for infected individuals and their close contacts. Citing a unified national medical guide, the authority said positive cases would be isolated in hospitals until they recover. Their close contacts would be required to quarantine at home for “no less than 21 days”.
As per guidelines issued by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), patients with the infection must remain in isolation either at home or in an institutional facility for 21 days.
The risk of infection or disease outbreak is small, the DHA had said. It requires a very close contact with an infected person or his/her contaminated objects. The disease is self-limiting, with symptoms lasting from two to four weeks.
Symptoms include fever, exhaustion, lymphadenopathy, back and muscle aches, intense headaches and skin rash which usually begins after one to three days of fever.
The approved test to detect monkeypox is a PCR throat swab. Alternatively, health officials can scrape the skin for vesicle fluid using a dry swab.
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