No monkeypox cases reported in India so far

Contact Counsellor

No monkeypox cases reported in India so far

  • India has not registered any case of monkeypox as of now, but the pox spread around the world is being tracked closely.
  • The country is also monitoring the alert by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the rise in reported cases of acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology in children from some parts of the world.
  • The WHO said that nearly 200 cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 20 countries not usually known to have such outbreaks.

Acute hepatitis

This is image title

  • The WHO, in its Disease Outbreak News, said 650 probable cases of acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology in children had been reported from 33 countries in five WHO Regions between April 5 and May 26.
  • Hepatitis - inflammation of the liver.
  • A sudden onset of hepatitis is called acute hepatitis.
  • Causes -
    • viral hepatitis infections A and E, and less commonly hepatitis B and C.
    • Certain medications and toxins.
  • Usually, it passes without any serious consequences or need for special care or treatment, but in rare cases may result in severe liver failure or death.
  • Symptoms - vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pain, jaundice (yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin) and pale stools.
  • Earlier this month, doctors in India raised alarm over a spike in unexplained hepatitis in children who had tested positive for COVID-19.

Monkey Pox

This is image title

  • It is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.
  • It has been detected in squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice, and some species of monkeys.
  • Monkeypox is caused by monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.


  • Monkey Pox infection was first discovered in 1958 following two outbreaks of a pox-like disease in colonies of monkeys kept for research — which led to the name ‘monkeypox’.

Symptoms, transmission and effects

  • Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes.
  • It causes the lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy), which smallpox does not.
  • Monkeypox virus is mostly transmitted to people from wild animals such as rodents and primates, but human-to-human transmission also occurs.
  • The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox.
  • Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
  • The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days.
  • Typically, up to a tenth of people ill with monkeypox may die, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.


  • The clinical presentation of monkeypox resembles that of smallpox, a related orthopoxvirus infection which was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980.
  • The Vaccinia vaccine used during the smallpox eradication programme was also protective against monkeypox.
  • A new third generation vaccinia vaccine has now been approved for prevention of smallpox and monkeypox. Antiviral agents are also being developed.

How is the Monkeypox different from the smallpox ?

  • Monkeypox virus - orthopoxvirus - a genus of viruses that also includes the variola virus, which causes smallpox, and vaccinia virus, which was used in the smallpox vaccine.
  • Monkeypox causes symptoms similar to smallpox, although they are less severe.
  • Also the symptoms of both the diseases vary.
  • While vaccination eradicated smallpox worldwide in 1980, monkeypox continues to occur in countries in Central and West Africa, and has on occasion showed up elsewhere.

Exam Track

Prelims Takeaway

  • Monkeypox
  • Hepatitis

Mains Track

Q. What are Zoonotic diseases? Examine the challenges posed by it in India? How should India gear itself to deal with this challenge.