India Begins Screening Visitors for Monkeypox
Local media reported India's Union Health Ministry confirmed screening of international travelers arriving in India at airports and ports for the monkeypox virus. This action comes after two cases of Monkeypox were reported in India's Kerala's Kollam district.
"State, airport, and port health officers advised health screening of all international Points of Entry travelers to minimize the risk of importation of monkeypox disease," the ministry said in a statement published on July 19, 2022.
They were also advised to coordinate with other stakeholder agencies like Immigration at international ports and airports to streamline health screening processes besides ensuring suitable linkages with hospital facilities earmarked to each port of entry for timely referral and isolation.
According to guidelines, monkeypox contacts should be monitored at least daily for the onset of signs/symptoms for 21 days (per case definition) from the last contact with a patient or their contaminated materials during the infectious period.
As of July 19, 2022, the U.S. CDC and the WHO have not endorsed monkeypox screening for international travelers.
Monkeypox virus testing has become widely available in the USA, but not at airports.
About 15,000 patients have been globally identified since the monkeypox outbreak began in early May 2022.
"The global outbreak of Monkeypox is unusual and concerning," commented the WHO director Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, calling to step up the response and international coordination.
To alert travelers of their monkeypox risks, the CDC issued an Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions, travel advisory in June 2022.
Note: This is a developing story that will be updated.