Issuing an alert to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Central government has asked them to keep a close watch on the monkeypox situation, in wake of a rapid spurt of cases abroad, and send samples of symptomatic travellers to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for further investigation.
"Keep a close watch on monkeypox situation abroad. Send samples (to NIV, Pune) only in such cases where people display certain specific symptoms. Not samples of sick passengers," sources said.
Monkeypox passes from infected animals to humans and cases are rapidly increasing in Europe, North America. It can be caught from a bite by an infected animal, by touching its blood, body fluids, or fur. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the recent outbreak of monkeypox.
Cases have been confirmed in Europe in the United Kingdom, Spain Portugal, Germany and Italy. United States, Canada and Australia have also reported cases.