In a positive development, the last two patients of monkeypox in Pakistan have fully recuperated from the virus, bringing the current number of active cases down to zero. Previously, there were two confirmed cases of monkeypox in Islamabad. However, a spokesperson from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) has revealed that both patients have now recovered and been discharged from the hospital.
The Ministry of Health’s spokesperson also confirmed that Pakistan has recorded a total of five monkeypox cases to date, with all patients successfully recovering from the disease. The recent cases were detected in individuals who had traveled to Pakistan from abroad in April.
According to health ministry officials, one person, who had been deported from Saudi Arabia, arrived in Pakistan on April 17 displaying symptoms of monkeypox. Another individual sitting alongside them on the flight also exhibited similar symptoms. Samples from both individuals, whose identities remain confidential, were sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad. Subsequently, the facility confirmed that they were carriers of the infectious monkeypox virus.
Monkeypox is a viral illness caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus. There are two distinct clades of the virus: clade I and clade II. Common symptoms of monkeypox include a skin rash or mucosal lesions that can persist for 2 to 4 weeks, accompanied by fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, and swollen lymph nodes, as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The virus can be transmitted to humans through physical contact with an infected individual, contaminated materials, or infected animals. Treatment primarily involves supportive care, while vaccines and therapeutics developed for smallpox and approved for use in some countries can also be employed in certain cases of monkeypox.
Since May 2022, there has been a global outbreak of human monkeypox infections, affecting over 78,000 individuals. However, the recovery of the last two patients in Pakistan is an encouraging development and indicates progress in containing the virus.