Monkeypox Image Credit: Shutterstock

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Tuesday informed that the state has started monkeypox testing at 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 man who contracted the infection is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital. The first case of the monkeypox virus in India was found on July 14 after a traveller returned to Kerala. He has been admitted to Thiruvananthapuram medical college.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), monkeypox is a viral zoonotic infection caused by the monkeypox virus. It spreads mostly from human contact.

The multidisciplinary central team of officials has been already deployed by the Union Health Ministry.

Those in close contact with him have been put under surveillance, the minister added.

The Union Health Ministry on Friday released new guidelines for the management of the monkeypox disease. The ministry listed out points for the general masses to follow, which included avoiding contact with dead or wild animals (rodents, monkeys).

An official also said there was no need to panic and all fresh guidelines had been issued to all States and UTs.

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’. 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.