Local manufacturers asked to focus on research for monkeypox treatment hinh anh 1An antiviral drug used for monkeypox treatment (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Following the complicated global developments of monkeypox, the Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health has sent a document to drug and medicinal ingredient manufacturers, asking them to increase the import of drugs as well as carry out research and production of medicine to treat monkeypox.

Drugs containing the active ingredients Tecovirimat, Brincidofvir, Cidofovir, and Probenecid are those recommended by WHO.

According to the Drug Administration, with global cases rising rapidly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the escalating global monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Soon after, the Ministry of Health issued guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of smallpox in humans.

In the guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of monkeypox, the Ministry of Health specifies that drugs containing Tecovirimat, Brincidofvir, Cidofovir, Probenecid are recommended by WHO.

Currently, the monkeypox vaccine has been licensed for circulation in some countries. Therefore, in order to speed up the access to new drugs for the treatment of monkeypox, the Drug Administration of Vietnam recommended that drugs and medicinal ingredient establishments and producers should strengthen and update research on the manufacturing of drugs for treatment and vaccines against monkeypox. They should also increase access to the above-mentioned supply of medicinal ingredients, and import them to Vietnam for production of drugs.

The Drug Administration also suggested that importers of drugs and medicinal ingredients contact foreign manufacturers to access the supply of the above drugs based on the needs of medical institutions.

In particular, the Drug Administration of Vietnam will give maximum priority to granting circulation registration and import permits for these drugs and medicinal ingredients in accordance with regulations.

Currently, the development of monkeypox is complicated; hence, many countries around the world have begun to intensify research on new drugs to have more effective solutions in treating monkeypox patients.

According to the Ministry of Health, monkeypox is an acute infectious disease, capable of causing epidemics, caused by the monkeypox virus. The disease is transmitted from animals to humans and from person to person through direct contact with skin lesions, bodily fluids, sexual contact, and respiratory droplets. The monkeypox virus also passes to the babies during pregnancy and caused symptoms that included skin sores.

Usually, the incubation period of Monkeypox is from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days. Most common symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, and swollen lymph nodes.

Although no cases of monkeypox had been recorded in Việt Nam as of July 24, the risk of this disease entering the country is very high, according to experts.

Under the Drug Administration of Vietnam’s instruction, local pharmaceutical companies need to seek sources for monkeypox medicine imports in necessary cases. The administration will create the most favourable conditions for granting licenses for the import and distribution of monkeypox medicine. The import of materials for medicine production will also be prioritised.

The Ministry of Health has guided people to take the following measures to prevent monkeypox, including covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and washing hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

People with an acute rash of unknown cause, accompanied by one or more suspected symptoms, should contact a medical facility for monitoring and counselling.

People are advised to avoid close and skin-to-skin contact with people with monkeypox, to not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox and not to share utensils, bedding, towels or clothing with them.

People travelling to countries with monkeypox outbreaks should avoid contact with mammals (dead or alive) such as rodents and marsupials because they may contain the monkeypox virus. When returning to Vietnam, the travellers need to make health declarations to a local health establishment for consultancy.

The Ministry of Health has urged localities nationwide to monitor foreign arrivals from countries with monkeypox as an early response after infections were spotted in the region.

Foreign arrivals from countries with monkeypox will have their body temperatures checked and be subject to other monitoring measures. Those suspected to be infected with the condition will be isolated and have their biological samples taken for testing./.