Picture used for illustrative purpose.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The UAE has issued fresh guidelines to deal with Monkeypox cases, and urged members of the public not to stigmatized the individual suffering from the disease.
Around 30 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks of the viral disease as confirmed cases reached 1,200, most of them in Europe.
Monkeypox, which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys, mostly occurs in west and central Africa and only very occasionally spreads elsewhere.
What is Monkeypox?
It is a rare zoonotic disease that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.
It occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.
Mode of transmission: Animal-to-human:
Through direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, cutaneous or mucosal lesions of an infected animal.
Eating insufficiently cooked meat from an infected animal.
Through close contact with respiratory secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or contaminated objects.
Through intimate contact with someone who has symptoms.
The interval from infection to onset of symptoms is usually: From 5 to 21 days.
Stages of development of the rash:
Macules (lesions with a flat base)
Papules (slightly raised firm lesions)
Vesicles (lesions filled with clear fluid)
Pustules (lesions filled with yellowish fluid) Crusts which dry up and fall off
Keep your hands clean by washing them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
Preventing animal-to-human transmission:
Avoid contact with wild animals (alive or dead).
Cook meat properly.
Avoid contact with any objects that have been in contact with a sick animal.
Preventing human-to-human transmission:
Avoid contact with any person that has a rash.
Avoid contact with any object that has been in contact with a sick person.
It is a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks.
Supportive care and symptomatic treatment is the main way to deal with the disease.
You need to know that:
The health authorities in the UAE are currently studying and evaluating the situation.
Avoid spreading rumours and ensure that you seek information from official channels.
The risk of getting infected or the risk of an outbreak is minimal as transmission requires close contact with the infected person or the person’s contaminated objects.
What is the approved laboratory test for monkeypox?
Lesion specimen or scrape the skin for vesicles fluid using a dry swab.
Who is considered to be a confirmed case?
Any individual with the disease who has clinical symptoms and the virus detection is confirmed by a laboratory test.
Confirmed case journey:
The patient must isolate himself in a separate room until he or she is informed of the result of the positive PCR test.
DHA will contact the patient to complete the isolation procedures.
If the symptoms worsen, the patient must go to the nearest medical centre or hospital.
The patient must remain in isolation either at home or in the institutional isolation facility for the period of 21 days.
What does isolation mean?
It is to isolate people with monkeypox disease to ensure that the disease does not spread and that they have access to the necessary health care.
Patient home isolation criteria:
Patient must be in a stable condition with facilities such as a well-ventilated room at home.
The patient will receive medical follow-up.
A healthy adult patient who is able to isolate himself at home with or without a mild rash and has stable vital signs.
What are the requirements and conditions of home isolation?
The individual should be in a stable health condition.
Presence of a separate well-ventilated room and washroom.
Presence of a first-aid kit and body thermometer.
Have knowledge on how to properly treat contaminated equipment and waste.
Follow hand washing and hygiene protocols to avoid transmission of the virus.
Institutional Isolation or Hospitals:
An adult patient that is healthy and stable but cannot isolate himself at home.
The condition and place of isolation of the patient are assessed by the medical team supervising the treatment.
When does the Isolation period end? After full recovery and disappearance of skin lesions and after 21 days.
Remember that this disease is self-limited and symptoms last from 2-4 weeks.
Who is considered a monkeypox close contact?
A person who has been in close contact for a long period of time with a confirmed case of monkeypox or has been in close contact with an infected animal.
The Dubai Health Authority will contact and inform the individual that he is a close contact.
What is Quarantine?
It is the separation of the close contact for a period of 21 days in quarantine until it is confirmed that the person is free of the disease.
Home Quarantine Requirements:
Availability of a well-ventilated single room with an attached bathroom for one person.
The infected person must use his own personal items and cannot share these items.
Things to do during Quarantine:
Monitor the appearance of any symptoms such as fever, rash or swollen lymph nodes.
Daily temperature check.
Follow precautionary measures such as washing hands frequently.
Clothes should be washed separately.
If any symptoms appear, you must contact the
Dubai Health Authority’s call centre on 800342.
Do not donate blood, cells, tissues, breast milk or organs.
Close Contact Journey:
When a person is informed that he has been in contact, he must confine himself in a single room for a period of 21 days, in consideration of the people who are not in contact in line with precautionary measures.
Dubai Health Authority will communicate and inform the contacts.
Stay in quarantine for 21 days and there is no need for a PCR laboratory test if no symptoms of the disease appear.
If symptoms of the disease appear, during the quarantine period, please go to the nearest health centre or hospital.
If the test result is positive, contacts will be contacted to complete the isolation procedures. If the result of the test is negative, the contacts must continue the quarantine for a period of 21 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does being in quarantine mean that I am infected?
Quarantine is a precautionary measure, but this does not necessarily mean that you are infected with the virus, and it is a required measure to ensure that you are not infected, and to reduce the transmission of the virus to others in the event of infection.
If a symptom appears during the quarantine period at home, what is the next step?
Go to the nearest health centre.
Before leaving the house for the appointment, you must follow all precautionary measures.
Make sure you do not come into contact with others and wash your hands and sanitise them regularly.
Make sure you wear covered clothes such as long sleeves, pants and gloves to avoid and reduce contamination.
If I had chickenpox when I was young, is there a chance of getting monkeypox?
There is a difference between chickenpox and monkeypox.
Having chickenpox does not give you immunity against the monkeypox virus.
Is there any medication I can take to protect myself from getting infected?
There is no specific medication or vitamins that you should take to protect yourself from contracting the virus.
It is recommended to follow preventive and safety measures, in addition to following a healthy lifestyle and diet, and drinking sufficient amounts of water.
Does a rash develop in every case of monkeypox? If yes, will the rash disappear completely or will it leave marks?
A rash is one of the main symptoms of monkeypox.
The shape of the rash changes throughout the course of the disease until it reduces and disappears.
The skin cells get renewed again. The disease may leave marks on the skin.
If a person suspects he has monkeypox which health facility should he go to? Is there any specific health centre or hospital one should go to?
Please refer to the nearest health centre or hospital.
Which groups are at a higher risk of contracting the monkeypox infection?
What is the probability of contracting the disease from humans? Healthcare workers.
Persons in close contact with positive cases, and those who are in charge of taking care of the patients.
Human-to-human transmission is relatively rare since transmission requires respiratory secretions or skin lesions of an infected person or contaminated objects.
What is the severity of the disease and the impact on the health of the individual?
The risk of infection or disease outbreak is small, as it requires a very close contact with an infected person or the infected person’s contaminated objects.
The disease is self-limiting, with symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks.
Supportive care and symptomatic treatment is the main way to deal with the disease.
Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates are currently studying and evaluating the situation.