Hospitals Witness Influx of Worried Patients Seeking Clarification on Monkeypox Infection
Delhi-NCR hospitals are facing an influx of anxious patients seeking medical advice after developing allergies, leading them to question if they have contracted the monkeypox infection. This rise in panic among the public comes in the wake of Delhi reporting its first case of monkeypox, where a 34-year-old man tested positive for the viral disease.
Increased awareness has prompted individuals, especially those who have recently traveled abroad, to rush to hospitals, seeking confirmation of symptoms related to monkeypox. Dr. Ramanjit Singh, a visiting consultant in dermatology at Medanta Hospital, explained that the rainy season makes people more susceptible to viral infections. This season also witnesses an increase in chickenpox cases and other infections that share common symptoms such as rashes and nausea.
Dr. Singh emphasized the need for patients to understand the sequence and onset of symptoms to determine if they have monkeypox. Typically, monkeypox begins with fever, malaise, headache, sore throat, cough, and swollen lymph nodes, which occur four days prior to the appearance of skin lesions and rashes. These symptoms primarily start from the extremities, like hands and eyes, before spreading to the entire body.
Dr. Sachin Dhawan, a senior consultant at the Department of Dermatology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, highlighted a case where a woman visited him concerned about her 10-month-old baby’s reaction to an insect bite. Dr. Dhawan stated that people are increasingly seeking medical advice due to increased awareness through the internet. However, he reassured the public that there is no need to panic, as the number of monkeypox cases remains relatively low. He advised individuals to consult a doctor if they have doubts or concerns.
India has currently reported four cases of monkeypox, with three cases in Kerala and one in Delhi. Three of the cases had a history of foreign travel, while the Delhi patient had attended a stag party in Himachal Pradesh. The patient is currently receiving treatment at LNJP Hospital and is on the path to recovery.
Dr. Pooja Chopra, a senior dermatologist at Aakash Healthcare Super Specialty Hospital, Dwarka, mentioned that her colleagues in other parts of the country have observed cases of patients presenting with atypical rashes accompanied by fever and joint pains. She emphasized the importance of remaining vigilant and alert, urging individuals to look out for symptoms such as atypical rashes, fever, joint pain, and general weakness, in case they suspect they have contracted the infection.