Pakistan to Take Vaccines From WHO as Mpox Cases Surface
According to The News Report, which cited officials from the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS,R&C), Pakistan has decided to ask the World Health Organisation (WHO) to provide vaccines for the prevention of monkeypox (mpox), after two people who had returned from Saudi Arabia were discovered to be infected with the virus.
“During a National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) meeting held on Wednesday to discuss the monkeypox situation in the country, it was decided that WHO would be requested a sizeable quantity of vaccine to immunise healthcare providers and infectious diseases experts who would be on the frontline to deal with the confirmed and suspected cases of the infectious disease”, an official of the NHS, R&C said.
Health institutions and establishments were put on high alert throughout Pakistan after two persons were found infected with mpox upon arrival in Islamabad on April 17, 2023.
Isolation wards and filter clinics were also established in major cities of the country including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar to deal with any suspected cases of the Monkeypox disease.
The official from the NHS stated that the issue of monkeypox cases was thoroughly discussed at the NCOC meeting held on Wednesday at the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad. It was decided that a formal request would be made to the international organisation for health for the provision of vaccine for the medical professionals and frontline workers so that they could be protected from the disease.
According to the official, individuals who work in environments where they may be exposed to mpox, or orthopoxvirus in a laboratory, or who are a part of an orthopoxvirus and healthcare worker response team, must receive the two-dose vaccine.
“Since January 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported to WHO from 110 member states across all 6 WHO regions. As of April 25, 2023, a total of 87,113 laboratory-confirmed cases and 130 deaths, have been reported to WHO,” the NHS, R&C official said.
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Giving details of the Mpox cases reported in the country, the NHS official said on April 17, 2023, a very sick person who had been deported from Saudi Arabia for over-staying, landed in Islamabad with high-grade fever, rashes, headache, muscle aches and sore throat.
He was advised to visit the Pakistan Institute of Islamabad (PIMS), Islamabad.
“On suspicion of being infected with mpox, the samples of the said person, who is a resident of Rawalpindi/Islamabad, were sent to the NIH, which confirmed that he was infected with the disease,” the official said, adding that currently he was admitted at an isolation ward of PIMS.
Following the detection of two mpox cases, airports across the country have been put on high alert and airlines have been advised to report all the suspected cases to the border health services department at the airports.
The monkeypox virus, a species of the genus Orthopoxvirus, is said to be the infectious illness that causes mpox, according to the WHO. It can result in fever, enlarging lymph nodes, and a painful rash.
The majority of people totally recover, but others get severely ill.
The WHO has said that a cutaneous rash or mucosal lesions, which can last 2-4 weeks and are accompanied by fever, headache, muscular pains, back discomfort, poor energy, and enlarged lymph nodes, are the main symptoms of monkeypox or mpox.
Physical contact with an infectious person, contaminated objects, or sick animals can all result in the transmission of the disease to people.