Kerala: Monkeypox testing begins in Kerala, says state health minister

19 July, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma

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Kerala Health Minister Veena George announced on Tuesday that the state has begun monkeypox testing at the NIV Alapuzha.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George announced on Tuesday that the state has begun monkeypox testing at the NIV Alapuzha.

“Testing has started at NIV Alapuzha. Kits have been brought to NIV Alapuzha from Pune. Samples from districts are now being sent to Alapuzha for testing. A new disease has been reported in the state. Following that testing is being conducted by taking all precautions. Testing samples in Kerala will reduce the time duration to get the result,” said Veena George. India reported its second case of monkeypox in Kerala’s Kannur district on July 18.

A 31-year-old guy has got the virus and is being treated at a hospital. On July 14, a UAE visitor returned to Kerala and contracted the monkeypox virus for the first time. He was accepted into Thiruvananthapuram Medical College.

Monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is a viral zoonotic ailment caused by the monkeypox virus. It spreads mostly through human contact.

The Union Health Ministry has already established a multidisciplinary central team of officials.

Those in close touch with him have been placed under monitoring, according to the ministry.

On July 14, India reported the first Monkeypox case in the UAE, involving a visitor from Kerala.

The Union Health Ministry issued new instructions for the management of Monkeypox sickness on Friday. The Ministry recommended that the general public avoid contact with dead or wild animals in order to avoid the disease’s spread (rodents, monkeys).

According to an ANI official, there is no need to fear because new instructions have been sent to all states and UTs.

“No need to panic as Centre has given fresh directions to all the states and Union Territories regarding Monkeypox. It spreads through close contact with lesions, body fluids, prolonged contact with Respiratory Droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding,” said official sources.

Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan cited the letter sent by the ministry on May 31 in which it had issued a comprehensive ‘Guidelines for Management of Monkeypox Disease’. As of now, there is no reported case of Monkeypox has been reported in India.

The health secretary asked all the states and union territories to take key actions like orientation and regular re-orientation of all key stakeholders including health screening teams at points of entries (PoEs), disease surveillance teams, doctors working in hospitals about common signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, case definitions for suspect/probable/confirmed cases and contacts, contact tracing and other surveillance activities that need to be undertaken following detection of a case, testing, IPC protocols, clinical management etc.

He further asked to screen and test all suspect cases at points of entry and in the community.

“Patient isolation (until all lesions have resolved and scabs have completely fallen off), protection of ulcers, symptomatic and supportive therapies, continued monitoring and timely treatment of complications remain the key measures to prevent mortality,” he said.

According to Bhushan, intensive risk communication directed at healthcare workers identified sites in health facilities (such as skin, paediatric OPDs, immunisation clinics, intervention sites identified by NACO, etc.) as well as the general public about simple preventive strategies and the need for prompt reporting of cases is required.

Hospitals must be identified, and appropriate human resource and logistical assistance must be provided to hospitals that are prepared to manage suspected/confirmed cases of monkeypox.

“I am sure, States/UTs shall make all efforts to ensure effective preparedness and take required action as per the guidelines. Union Ministry of Health shall continue to monitor the situation closely and will extend all requisite support in this regard,” he added.