Pakistan reports first monkeypox case in traveller returned from Saudi Arabia


ISLAMABAD – Pakistani authorities said that they have identified a confirmed case of monkeypox infection in a traveler who had returned from abroad.

In a statement, the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination said the person returned from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who landed in Pakistan on April 17 with symptoms of monkeypox – an infection known for painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes, and fever.

Meanwhile, the identity of the person remained under wraps — a resident of either Rawalpindi or Islamabad. The National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed that the passenger was a carrier of the infectious virus.

To curb the spread, family, and acquaintances are now being screened and told to remain in quarantine. Following the detection, airports across Pakistan have been put on high alert after the detection of the virus.

The recent case comes positive nearly a year after the National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a monkeypox alert when global health officials sounded the alarm over a surge in positive cases.

Earlier, the country’s top health body said no cases of monkeypox cases have yet been detected in the South Asian nation as it clarified that ‘news’ to the contrary circulating on social media was incorrect.

Monkeypox is an infectious disease that is usually mild, and is endemic in parts of the world; it is spread by close contact, so it can be relatively easily contained through self-isolation and hygiene.

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