The Slovenia Times

Govt moves to ensure monkeypox contact tracing


Ljubljana - The outgoing government adopted a decision on Tuesday to pave the way for including monkeypox in a group of infectious diseases under which all healthcare providers are required to report any new cases to competent authorities. Following the first confirmed monkeypox case in Slovenia, the move will enable contact tracing.

In line with the law on infectious diseases, the decision, adopted at the government's correspondence session, seeks to make sure the National Institute of Public Health has a legal basis to introduce a protocol for contact tracing and other epidemiological procedures, including informing international institutions of the monkeypox developments in Slovenia.

Monkeypox infection has to be included in the group of infectious diseases under which health authorities' reporting is mandatory as soon as possible, the government said as quoted by the Government Communications Office.

This comes after Slovenia logged its first monkeypox infection on Tuesday. The country's chief epidemiologist, Mario Fafangel, said that the patient's condition was stable and that the risk of infection for the general population was low. He noted that this was not a harbinger of another epidemic.

The disease has been spreading in non-endemic countries in the West as multiple countries in North America and Europe have been reporting outbreaks of cases since the start of May. The outbreaks can be contained outside endemic African countries and human-to-human transmission of the virus stopped, the World Health Organisation recently said.

Both the WHO and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control have been urging countries to immediately initiate contact tracing.


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