Kerala reports second case of monkeypox

The confirmed case is of a 31-year-old man who reached Kannur from Dubai

July 18, 2022 06:34 pm | Updated July 19, 2022 08:54 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram:

Photo used for representation purpose only.

Photo used for representation purpose only.

A second case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Kerala in a 31-year-old man who reached Kannur from Dubai, via Mangalore, on July 13.

State Health Minister Veena George confirmed on Monday that one person had been isolated for treatment at the Pariyaram Medical College Hospital, Kannur, as he seemed to have typical symptoms of monkeypox and that the samples had been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for confirmation.

The patient is in good health and his close contacts have been brought into the Health department’s surveillance network for the next 21 days.

The State has tightened disease surveillance at all four of its international airports and help desks have been opened at these airports where trained healthcare workers have been deployed to help guide anyone, who may have symptoms or whose contacts may have tested positive for monkeypox.

Diagnostic facilities

Meanwhile, Health department has decided to make facilities for testing for monkeypox in its own laboratories.

There are 28 government laboratories that have the facilities for conducting RT-PCR tests. In the first phase, the tests kits for testing monkey pox would be made available from NIV, Pune, at the National Institute of Virology lab at Alappuzha.

The Health department, as part of intensified disease surveillance, had decided to keep a close eye on all fevers with rashes and to collect random samples of cases with symptoms resembling chicken pox from the community, to rule out even a distant possibility of monkeypox.

The Central team which had been in Kerala following the reporting of the first confirmed case of monkeypox, met Ms. George on Monday to apprise her of the preventive and control measures that the State needed to adopt.

They expressed satisfaction at the enhanced disease surveillance measures at airports. Anyone suspected to be developing symptoms would be safely isolated and given proper treatment, Ms. George said. Isolation facilities have been readied in selected hospitals in all districts and special ambulances have also been put on standby to transport anyone reporting symptoms to the isolation facilities.

Those coming into the State from other nations where monkeypox has been reported, should get in touch with the Health departments, DISHA helpline ( 104, 1056, 0471 2552056), if at all they develop any symptoms after they reach home.

A State-level control room and district-level control rooms have been set up to coordinate all control measures. The department is also preparing the guidelines for disease surveillance and management.

The Health department has already initiated training for health workers and awareness programmes are being organised on a mass scale to allay public fears over monkeypox.

Those who were present at the meeting with the Central team included Principal Secretary (Health) Tinku Biswal, NHM State Mission Director Ratan Kelkar, Director of Health Services P.P. Preetha, among other senior Health officials.

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