The most recent update on the Monkeypox virus is a proactive and risk-based approach to the management of the illness. Given the growing reports of Monkeypox cases in non-endemic countries and to ensure advance preparedness across the country, the Union Department of Health and Family Welfare announced guidelines for the management of the disease.
As the coronavirus continues to disrupt the lives and livelihoods of the world’s population, the emergence of the Monkeypox virus is also in the news. Monkeypox is an animal-to-human virus that, although clinically less severe, has symptoms very similar to those seen in smallpox in the past.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirusgenus from the Poxviridae family. The genus also includes the variola virus that causes smallpox, the vaccinia virus used in the smallpox vaccine, and the cowpox virus. You should also remember that Monkeypox is not related in anyway to chickenpox.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two smallpox-like outbreaks occurred in monkey colonies held for research. Although it is called “monkeypox”, the source of the disease is unknown. The reason for its name is that non-human primates such as monkeys can harbor the virus and infect humans.
The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in people in other Central and West African countries. Before the 2022 outbreak, nearly all cases of monkeypox in humans outside of Africa were linked to international travel to countries where the disease is common or via imported animals. In such a situation, it is important to be prepared and take precautions such as having a health insurance application.
Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person to person by:
- a contagious rash, crusting or direct contact with bodily fluids.
- respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact or close physical contact.
- touching items such as clothing or linens that have previously touched an infectious rash or bodily fluids
- pregnant women can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
It is also possible for humans to become infected with monkeypox from infected animals by being scratched or bitten by animals, by preparing or eating meat, or by using the products of an infected animal. Hence, you should be aware of any symptoms that might appear and use your health insurance renewal app to access features such as teleconsultations if required.
Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms begin until the rash is completely healed and a new layer of skin has formed. This may take several weeks. People who do not have symptoms of monkeypox cannot transmit the virus to others.
Does Health insurance cover Monkeypox?
Because Monkeypox is a viral contagious disease, you will have coverage for it when you buy health insurance online or through other mediums. Most current health policies will cover the costs incurred.
In India, monkeypox will be covered under most health insurance, provided it supports outpatient (OPD) expenses.As such, there is no need to buy an additional policy just for monkeypox.
First, we need to understand that all infectious diseases, including monkeypox, are covered by a basic health insurance policy. If a person is diagnosed and hospitalized upon arrival/after arriving in India, that person will be covered by an individual health insurance policy.
The Monkeypox virus is an illness that you can contract like many other diseases. Hence, it is not an exclusionin any health insurance policy. On the other hand, typically monkeypox is treated under OPD. Hence, you will have to check whether your health insurance covers OPD treatment. Otherwise, if you need to be hospitalized, your health insurance policies cover it. Moreover, if you have a health insurance app in India, it will be easier to make claims.
Since monkeypox is an illness that is being detected all around the world, there is a chance that you might contract it when you are travelling through other countries. If you are outside of India and contracted monkeypox, the only health coverage options you have are travel insurance or specialized health coverage. The regular health insurance you have in India will not be able to cover treatment.