PRO/SOAS> Mpox update (03): Pakistan (Islamabad) ex Saudi Arabia


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Sun 21 May 2023
Source: Dawn [edited]

A 19-year-old woman was tested positive for monkeypox in Islamabad on
Saturday [20 May 2023].

She had arrived from Saudi Arabia and admitted to the isolation ward
of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) after being referred
by the authorities at the Islamabad airport, according to PIMS

“The sample was taken/collected on Saturday [20 May 2023] morning and
sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH). In the evening, the
institute confirmed that it was a positive case.

“The patient belongs to Gujranwala and is the 1st female in Pakistan
who has been infected with mpox. Earlier, 2 male [patients] tested
positive in Islamabad and another male patient detected in Karachi,”
the sources added.

When contacted, PIMS spokesperson Dr Haider Abbasi confirmed that the
19-year-old female, who was deported from Saudi Arabia, has been
confirmed with virus.

“Patient is in isolation ward and in stable condition. She will be
discharged once she will be declared negative for the disease.
Moreover, her contact persons are being identified, and they will also
be tested and kept in isolation till they are confirmed negative,” he

The spokesperson for the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS),
Sajid Shah, said the ministry had already directed to strictly monitor
entry points of Pakistan to ensure that every suspect would be
identified. “There is no evidence of local transmission of the
disease, and people should not get panicked at all,” he said.

The 1st case had cleared the immigration without getting spotted with
symptoms. The man later visited PIMS, where he was shifted to the
isolation ward. He tested positive, and another passenger on the same
flight quarantined himself at home after testing positive.

A control room has already been set up at the National Command and
Operation Centre to tackle mpox spread in the country.

Mpox — which spreads via close contact and tends to cause flu-like
symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions — was declared a global health
emergency by the World Health Organization in July 2022.

The organization [WHO] maintained its alert in November [2022]. In
November [2022], the organization [WHO] named the disease mpox to
replace the older term monkeypox, citing concerns of stigma and racism
associated with the name.

[Byline: Ikram Junaidi]

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