Govt must update doctors on new illnesses, says expert

Since a New Delhi patient developed monkey pox symptoms with no known travel history, Dr John pointed out that it’s imperative to know his background.
Representative Image
Representative Image

VELLORE: The Government of India should create a method to update RMPs (Registered Medical Practitioners) about the latest in diseases and treatment protocols, just like Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) in the US, said noted virologist Dr T Jacob John on Monday.

“Monkey pox is a new disease and though not fatal, doctors in India are not conversant with it. What information they have is either picked up from TV or newspapers,” added Dr John. “However, the issue is that such information is general and not technical which is what doctors need. This will enable doctors to identify and treat the malaise immediately.”

Asked if he had seen monkey pox cases in his career, he said, “No, I haven’t but I’ve seen a rare case of non-fatal buffalo pox.”

Asked about the measures to be taken by the government and public to avoid monkey pox, he said “As its non-fatal and not widely prevalent, the government needn’t spend so much money to combat the disease. However, the government should create means by which the public is made aware of what they face and how to prevent it. What’s important is to keep patients with monkey pox isolated and their contacts must be traced immediately.”

Since a New Delhi patient developed monkey pox symptoms with no known travel history, Dr John pointed out that it’s imperative to know his background. “His travel itinerary must be checked immediately, as the disease is Africa-based,” he added.

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