First case of monkeypox detected in India, Health Ministry sent a team to Kerala

New Delhi The Union Health Ministry on Thursday informed that India has reported its first laboratory confirmed case of monkeypox from Kollam district in Kerala, prompting the Union Health Ministry to collaborate with state health authorities in setting up public health measures. A multi-disciplinary team of experts has been dispatched.

“The central team will assist the state health department in containing the outbreak,” the official said.

“The Kerala central team consists of the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. RML Hospital and senior officials from the Ministry of Health as well as experts from the Regional Office of the Government of Kerala. The team will work closely with state health departments to take stock of the ground situation and recommend necessary public health interventions. India is taking proactive steps by carefully monitoring the situation and coordinating with the states, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan directed the States/UTs to undertake comprehensive surveillance screening of all suspected cases and points of entry either under hospital-based surveillance and measles surveillance under targeted surveillance or identified by NACO. To test the intervention sites visited. MSM should be done for FSW population and community.

“The continued expansion of the spread of monkeypox disease globally calls for actively strengthening and conducting necessary public health actions to prepare for and respond to this disease in India as well. All major including health screening teams at Points of Entry (PoE), disease surveillance teams, doctors working in hospitals about common signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, suspected/probable/confirmed cases and case definition for contacts Stakeholder orientation and regular re-orientation, contact tracing and other surveillance activities need to be done after a case detection, testing, IPC protocol, clinical management etc,” Bhushan said as reviewed by Mint. Said in the letter.

The Union Health Ministry has urged the state governments to isolate patients with ulcers, symptomatic and continue monitoring for any such cases. Globally, 3413 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been detected, with one death.

“Intensive directed to health workers, general public in health facilities at identified sites (like skin, pediatric OPDs, immunization clinics, intervention sites identified by NACO, etc.) as well as simple preventive strategies and need for prompt reporting of cases. Risk communication needs to be done,” the letter said.

Hospitals should be identified and adequate human resource and logistics support should be ensured in the identified hospitals equipped to manage suspected/confirmed cases of monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a viral disease that originates from animals such as rodents and primates and spreads to people. It is found in Africa, mostly around tropical rainforest regions. The major symptoms are fever with an unexplained intense rash all over the body. Other symptoms include headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and body aches, back pain, and deep weakness.

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