Pakistan reports fourth mpox case

Passenger from Saudi Arabia tests positive for viral infection

By
M. Waqar Bhatti
Test tube labelled Monkeypox virus positive are seen in this illustration taken May 22, 2022. — AFP
Test tube labelled "Monkeypox virus positive" are seen in this illustration taken May 22, 2022. — AFP

  • Passenger arrived in Islamabad from Saudi Arabia tests positive for mpox.
  • The patient has been shifted to the isolation ward of the PIMS hospital.
  • There is no evidence of local transmission of disease yet: health ministry.


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday reported its fourth case of mpox as another passenger who arrived in the country from Saudi Arabia tested positive for the disease.

A female lab technician, who landed at Islamabad airport from Makkah, was diagnosed with the mpox, Dr Nasim Akhtar, head of infectious diseases department at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Islamabad, said.

The expert said the mpox patient had been shifted to the isolation ward of the PIMS hospital in the federal capital.

Meanwhile, the National Institute of Health (NIH) has also confirmed that a 19-year-old woman is diagnosed with mpox.

All four mpox patients in Pakistan arrived from Saudi Arabia. Of them, three patients belong to Islamabad and one Karachi, the NIH added.

The officials at the Federal Ministry of Health said there is no evidence of local transmission of the disease in the country yet.

Mpox (monkeypox) is a viral illness caused by the monkeypox virus, a species of the genus Orthopoxvirus. Two different clades exist — clade I and clade II.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the common symptoms of monkeypox or mpox are a skin rash or mucosal lesions which can last 2–4 weeks and are accompanied by fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes.

Mpox can be transmitted to humans through physical contact with someone who is infectious, with contaminated materials, or with infected animals.

The disease is treated with supportive care. Vaccines and therapeutics developed for smallpox and approved for use in some countries can be used for mpox in some circumstances.

Since May 2022, a global outbreak of human monkeypox infections has been reported in over 78,000 people.