BSMMU gives early warning on monkeypox outbreak in country

BSMMU gives early warning on monkeypox outbreak in country


Published: 17:00 30 July 2022   Updated: 17:44 30 July 2022

Representational Photo

Representational Photo

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof. Dr. Md. Sharfuddin Ahmed today advised being alert in advance so that monkeypox cannot spread in Bangladesh.

He gave details about the monkeypox virus in a press conference held at BSMMU’s Shaheed Doctor Milon Hall on Saturday.

At the time, the preparation of BSMMU to deal with the virus was also mentioned.

Dr. Sharfuddin Ahmed said that even if the presence of monkeypox in the country is not detected, it is necessary to take precautionary measures. In case of entry through the border, people coming from abroad need to be checked. If anyone seems suspicious, they should be isolated. “BSMMU is ready to treat the patients,” he also said.

Regarding the monkeypox virus, BSMMU VC said “the virus was first detected in 1958 in the body of a monkey in the laboratory”. In 1970, this virus was named monkeypox. “There are two strains of the virus. Of these, the Congo Basin strain is more virulent than the West African strain. The virus is transmitted from animal to animal and from animal to human,” he informed, saying that “human-to-human transmission is considered the most dangerous medium”.

Referring to the cause of monkeypox infection, he said the virus can spread through “direct contact”. It can also be transmitted by respiratory droplets or short-distance, long-term contact. One can also become infected through “close physical contact with another person who has monkeypox”, with multiple partners seen as a major factor.

Among the infected, 74 percent of the patients so far are accustomed to polygamy, Dr. Md. Sharfuddin Ahmed said, “26 percent of patients are HIV positive. Besides, 90 percent of patients are children under 15. “Banning smallpox vaccination” may be one of the reasons. The vaccine provides 85 percent protection against monkeypox. It should be used within two weeks, if possible within four days. The incubation period averages 12 days, ranging from 4 to 21 days. Prodrome lasts 1 to 10 days.”

He said the complications of monkeypox include permanent lesions, disfiguring scars, secondary bacterial infections, bronchopneumonia, respiratory distress, keratitis, corneal ulceration, blindness, septicemia and encephalitis. Febrile illness is accompanied by chills, sweating, severe headache, backache, loss of appetite, pharyngitis, shortness of breath and cough.

BSMMU VC suggested some precautionary measures to be taken to avoid the virus. These include -

1. Avoid contact with infected or suspected animals, keeping a safe distance from animal droppings, scratches, saliva or urine. 

2. Hospitalize the infected patient and treat with isolation or quarantine until all wounds are healed. 

3. Vaccination of adults at high risk.

4. Avoid rumors or panic and seek advice from experts.