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ICMR-NIRRCH publish recommendations on addressing monkeypox in pregnant women

Pregnant or lactating women and younger children are vulnerable to MPX and can develop severe disease and adverse outcomes associated with it.

As per the CDC Monkeypox Outbreak Global Map, there are 45,535 cases of the infection from 98 locations around the world. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive and Child Health (NIRRCH) has published recommendations for addressing monkeypox (MPX) infection in pregnant women in India in The Lancet Regional Health-Southeast Asia journal.

Pregnant or lactating women and younger children are vulnerable to MPX and can develop severe disease and adverse outcomes associated with it.

Earlier, ICMR- NIRRCH had implemented the ‘National Registry of Pregnant women with Covid-19 (PregCovid registry)’ in collaboration with the Medical Education and Drugs Department and BYL Nair Hospital of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.

Based on the experience of this registry, the authors have recommended strategies for addressing monkeypox infection in pregnant women in India.

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Dr Rahul Gajbhiye, Scientist D and DBT Wellcome India Alliance Clinical and Public Health Fellow at ICMR-NIRRCH, said, “We recommend the development of guidelines for diagnosis and management of MPX in pregnant women and newborns in India. We need to involve global experts engaged in the management of MPX in pregnant women and newborns for developing evidence-based guidelines appropriate for India and low-resource settings. These guidelines shall be revised from time to time based on real-time experience from India and the global data. We also recommend development of a registry of pregnant women and their newborns exposed to MPX virus.”

Dr Niraj Mahajan, Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynaecology at BYL Nair Hospital, Mumbai, and co-author of the study, said in an official statement issued on Wednesday: “For our Indian settings, we recommend discussing the risk of neonatal MPX infection and the benefits and risk of Cesarean section with the pregnant woman and her relatives. Since there is evidence of risk of vertical transmission and fetal demise, we recommend close monitoring to provide appropriate care to the pregnant woman infected with MPX”.

“There is a need to establish a multidisciplinary team for management of MPX in pregnant women and their newborns and also strengthen public and private healthcare system for MPX outbreak in India,” said Dr Geetanjali Sachdeva, Director, ICMR-NIRRCH and co-author of the publication.

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As per the CDC Monkeypox Outbreak Global Map, there are 45,535 cases of the infection from 98 locations around the world. Out of these, 45,148 cases are from 91 locations that have not historically reported monkeypox. India was the first country in South East Asia to report a confirmed case of monkeypox on July 14. Since then, a total of 10 confirmed cases with one death have been reported. India has not historically reported monkeypox cases.

First published on: 01-09-2022 at 12:13:46 am
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