Rashmi Rekha Das

With the World Health Organisation declaring the global monkeypox outbreak a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ (PHEIC) which is one step below that of a ‘pandemic’, the Odisha government has sounded an alert to health officials to deal with monkeypox cases. 

State Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra on Monday said, “The state has already issued guidelines to medical colleges, Chief District Medical Officers (CDMOs) and specialists and asked them to remain alert. District collectors have already been asked to keep a watch on people coming from other states and countries.”

“We have held discussions with Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) about the method of treatment for people having monkeypox symptoms. RMRC will carry out test of monkeypox samples. As many as 15 centres including RMRC have been designated to carry out tests. Initially monkeypox looks like small pox. If anyone having such symptom, he or she immediately must go for testing,” added Mishra.

There has been no report of any monkeypox cases in Odisha so far. 

It is learnt that over 16,000 cases have now been reported from 75 countries and there had been five deaths so far as a result of the outbreak.

According to assessment of WHO, the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region where we assess the risk as high. There is also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment.