A few days after Pakistan's federal health minister declared the country "free of monkeypox," the National Institute of Health (NIH) announced on Thursday that a third case of the disease has been detected in Karachi. This is the first case reported in the city and Sindh province, and it has been confirmed by the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

According to the NIH, the patient is a young male who recently travelled abroad and was isolated after showing symptoms of the virus at the Jinnah International Airport. The patient has been isolated, and contact tracing is underway.

Meanwhile, Sindh Health Department Spokesperson Mehar Khursheed said that the patient worked as a driver in Jeddah and flew back to Pakistan via Oman.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus, and its symptoms are similar to but milder than smallpox. It spreads when someone is in close contact with an infected animal or person. It is a droplet infection and enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, or through the eyes, nose, or mouth, as well as through shared items such as bedding or towels.

Early signs of monkeypox include flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, trunk, lymphadenopathy, and chickenpox-like rashes on the hands and face.

The first two cases of monkeypox in Pakistan were reported in Islamabad, and the patients have now completely recovered, according to the NIH.

"The Federal Ministry of Health along with the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) was vigilantly monitoring the situation while keeping all the relevant stakeholders on board for ensuring preparedness, timely response, and containment of monkeypox cases in Pakistan," the NIH said.

In a statement issued today, the Sindh Health Department spokesperson said that the province had been preparing for monkeypox ever since the first case was reported in Pakistan.

"All Covid-related precautions would be applied to monkeypox too as the disease can spread from humans to other humans and from the environment to humans," the statement said.

The government has taken measures to prevent the spread of monkeypox, including setting up male and female isolation wards at major hospitals across Sindh. The Sindh Health Department has also established a surveillance group to monitor the situation across the province, airports, train stations, and ports, and has sent precautionary messages to schools, mosques, and commercial areas.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes monkeypox as zoonosis – "a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans, with cases often found close to tropical rainforests where there are animals that carry the virus." The disease can also spread from humans to humans.

"There is no specific antiviral treatment for it nor any approved vaccine as of now," said Dr. Javaid Usman, a microbiologist. The disease is not usually fatal but can be so in rare cases when a person develops complications like pneumonia or an infection of the brain called encephalitis.

In conclusion, despite the federal health minister's declaration that Pakistan was free of monkeypox, a third case has been reported in Karachi. The government is taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease, and the public is urged to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions.

Written By Web Desk

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