The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has issued an alert to all air and land ports across the country about the spread of monkeypox in various countries of Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
In a circular on Sunday, the DGHS instructed the country's international airports and land ports to be on the alert with passengers coming in from affected countries and to step up screening for monkeypox.
"Monkeypox cases have been found in various countries, including in Africa, Europe, and America. Monkeypox is not a new disease," read the circular signed by Professor Nazmul Islam, director of Disease Control at the DGHS.
"But such cases have earlier been considered endemic in West African or Central African countries. The disease has previously been identified only among travellers or residents of West African countries. Monkeypox has now been identified among people living in Europe and America who have no recent history of travelling to the affected countries," it added.
The list of suspected cases includes patients who have had a rash and have recently been confirmed with cases of monkeypox, who have travelled to countries where monkeypox is prevalent, or who have had contact with someone who has had a similar rash or has been identified as a confirmed or suspected monkeypox patient.
Suspect and symptomatic patients should be isolated at the nearest government hospitals or the Dhaka Infectious Diseases Hospital. The Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) information should be informed.
Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Chattogram Port, the civil surgeon of Sylhet and civil surgeons of districts with international ports have been asked to take necessary action in line with the alert.
Dr Shahriar Sazzad, health officer-in-charge of the Health Centre at Dhaka's airport, told The Business Standard on Sunday evening, "We have received a letter from the health directorate with instructions about monkeypox."
"Every passenger is being scanned. If anyone has a fever, rash, or any other symptoms, we will send them to Dhaka's Infectious Diseases Hospital. But so far no such case has been found," he added.
At least 92 monkeypox virus cases have been confirmed in 12 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, warning that the infection is likely to spread to more nations even as it expands surveillance, reported The Economic Times on Sunday.
The 12 countries — the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden — are not endemic to the monkeypox virus, meaning the virus is not typically found in these countries, unlike some countries in Central and West Africa.