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BSMMU says no monkeypox case detected, warns of rumours

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2022-05-24 22:12:22 BdST

No monkeypox case has been detected in Bangladesh amid an outbreak of the disease in Europe, the vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University has said.

A post that a patient had tested positive for monkeypox went viral on social media, but Prof Md Sharfuddin Ahmed brushed it aside as rumour. “Nowhere in Bangladesh have monkeypox cases been detected, let alone at BSMMU.”

He urged people not to panic and avoid rumours, claiming at a press conference on Tuesday that the hospital was prepared to treat monkeypox patients.

Monkeypox is an infectious disease that is usually mild, and is endemic in parts of the west and central Africa. It is spread by close contact, so it can be relatively easily contained through such measures as self-isolation and hygiene, according to the World Health Organization.

Global health officials have sounded the alarm over rising cases in Europe and elsewhere of monkeypox, a type of viral infection more common to the west and central Africa.

Monkeypox was initially discovered in monkeys but human cases of the disease have also cropped up in Western and Middle African countries. Previous instances of the disease were only found in Africa.

The Who said it expects to identify more cases of monkeypox as it expands surveillance in countries where the disease is not typically found.

The Directorate General of Health Services has issued an alert at all ports in Bangladesh to prevent the monkeypox virus from entering the country.

Prof Sharfuddin said smallpox vaccines are 85 percent effective in protecting from monkeypox infection as well, but low vaccination rate might have given a rise to monkeypox infections.

The symptoms of the disease include fever, cold, headache, sweats, backpain, loss of appetite, cough and breathing issues, according to him. Swelling of lymph nodes around the neck occurs after two to three days.

Rashes appear within 10 days. Some patients may suffer bumpy rashes in their palms. The rashes may cause pain due to infection of other germs.

Prof Sharfudddin advised all to avoid contact with animals to reduce the risk of infections.

Patients should be treated in isolation at hospitals until the rashes are totally gone, he said.