Centre forms task force to monitor Monkeypox situation in country

V.K. Paul Task Force: Following the discovery of cases of monkeypox in India, the Union government constituted a task force to monitor and provide guidance on the expansion of diagnostic facilities and to explore vaccination against the infection in the country.

Key Points:

  • The team will be headed by V.K. Paul, member (Health), NITI Aayog.
  • India has reported six confirmed cases of monkeypox so far.
  • Four cases were confirmed in Kerala and two in Delhi.
  • Himachal Pradesh's health department has also detected a person with symptoms similar to monkeypox in Solan`s Baddi.
  • The patient's samples have been sent for testing to the National Institute of Virology (NIV).
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 18,000 cases have been reported from 78 countries.

About Monkeypox:

  • Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses that causes smallpox.
  • According to WHO, the disease is endemic in regions like West and Central Africa, but lately, cases have been reported from non-endemic countries too.


  • Monkeypox typically starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever and rashes are formed 1-4 days later.
  • The monkeypox rashes started as raised spots that slowly turn into small blisters that are either hard and round or filled with pus or fluid.
  • These blisters eventually dry up and fall off and a fresh layer of skin is formed.

The symptoms are -

  • Fever
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Rash
  • Skin Lesions
  • Muscle Aches
  • Chills

How is Monkeypox transmitted?

Monkeypox is transmitted from person-to-person through close contact.

It gets transmitted usually through following modes-

  • Direct contact with skin lesions or body fluids of an infected person
  • Sharing of personal items like bedding or clothing of an infected person
  • Prolonged exposure to an infected person's respiratory secretions
  • Monkeypox can also spread from animals to people through bites and scratches or use of meat from an infected animal.

It generally lasts for about 2-4 weeks until all rashes are healed, all scabs have fallen off and fresh layer of skin has formed.