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The Union health ministry has constituted a special task force to monitor monkeypox cases.

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<strong>The Union health ministry has constituted a special task force to monitor monkeypox cases.</strong>
Pox virus, illustration. Pox viruses are oval shaped and have double-strand DNA. There are many types of Pox virus including Chickenpox, Monkeypox and Smallpox. Smallpox was eradicated in the 1970’s. Infection occurs because of contact with contaminated animals or people and results in a rash or small bumps on the skin.

The Union health ministry has constituted a special task force to monitor monkeypox cases. The constituted special task force in the expansion of diagnostic facilities, and explore the possibility of vaccine development or sourcing to control the infection, officials said on Monday.

VK Paul, a NITI Aayog member (health) will head the task force and its members will include officials from the ministry and representatives of the country’s major medical and research institutes.

“The task force has been formed and this will help in the better management of monkeypox infections in the country. The task force will also coordinate cases from states and provide any expertise that the states need,” said a health ministry official, who did not want to be named.

India has so far reported three monkeypox cases from Kerala and one from Delhi.

The World Health Organisation has said it is clinically less severe than smallpox and declared monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern”. Over 20,000 monkeypox cases have been reported from 75 countries globally.

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