UAE issues monkeypox alert, says health sector fully prepared to deal with disease - GulfToday

UAE issues monkeypox alert, says health sector fully prepared to deal with disease


Picture used for illustrative purpose.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has stressed that the UAE’s health system is fully prepared to handle the spread of monkeypox, adding it is proactively investigating and closely monitoring any suspect cases.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions. The disease is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.

On the other hand, the World Health Organization said it expects to identify more cases of monkeypox as it expands surveillance in countries where the disease is not typically found.

As of Saturday, 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported from 12 member states that are not endemic for the virus, the UN agency said, adding it will provide further guidance and recommendations in coming days for countries on how to mitigate the spread of monkeypox.

"Available information suggests that human-to-human transmission is occurring among people in close physical contact with cases who are symptomatic", the agency added.

The virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding. Though rare and usually mild, monkeypox can still potentially cause severe illness.


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Before the recent outbreak, the disease used to be limited to a small and medium group of people, which highlights the fact that it has a low human-to-human transmission possibility. Though rare and usually mild, monkeypox can still potentially cause severe illness.

The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from 7 to 14 days but can extend to 21 days. The infection of a certain person begins with a skin eruption, which usually appears 3 days after suffering from fever. Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications.


The ministry emphasised it is currently studying and evaluating the seriousness of the disease locally, and accordingly issued a circular for all medical cadres working in the country requesting them to report any suspected case to competent health authorities.

"We have put in place precise mechanisms for diagnosing suspected patients. The technical advisory team for pandemic control has also prepared a comprehensive guide for surveillance, early detection of the disease, management of clinically infected patients and precautionary measures," the minister said.

MoHAP reiterated that it is closely monitoring the spread of monkeypox worldwide and is intensifying the local epidemiological surveillance in cooperation with other health entities to detect any possible cases and prevent the local spread of the virus.

This comes in response to several reports being widely shared about the outbreak of monkeypox in a number of countries around the world.

The ministry called on the public not to promote or be misled by rumors and to take information from official sources only, urging everyone to follow up on the latest developments and guidelines issued by competent health authorities.



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