Karnataka on alert as neighbouring Kerala reports three monkeypox cases

The Karnataka government has stepped up surveillance as neighbouring Kerala confirmed three cases of monkeypox virus. 

Karnataka on alert as neighbouring Kerala reports three monkeypox cases

New Delhi: Amid neighbouring Kerala reporting three monkeypox cases, the Karnataka government has decided to increase surveillance in the state. The Basavaraj Bommai-led government has directed all the districts to remain prepared and take required action per the Centre's guidelines and Technical Advisory Committee recommendations regarding Monkeypox, PTI reported. 

“District Health Officers (DHOs)/ District Surveillance Officers (DSO) have been instructed to ensure that the health screening teams at Points of Entries (PoEs) into the State (airports or sea ports), disease surveillance teams and doctors working in hospitals are to be re-oriented on the common signs and symptoms, diagnosis, case definitions etc of suspected, probable, confirmed Monkeypox cases and contacts,” the circular by Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare read. 

The circular further mentions that they should also receive training in contact tracing and other surveillance activities required in case of a suspected Monkeypox case like testing and other associated IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) protocols and clinical management. While the confirmed monkeypox cases have to be isolated for at least 21 days and until all lesions have resolved and scabs have completely fallen off, the suspected cases at PoEs and in the community have to be screened and tested through both hospital-based surveillance and targeted monitoring. 

"Intensive risk communication is to be undertaken for the healthcare workers in the health facilities and in commonly identified sites such as skin and pediatric, OPDs, immunization clinics and intervention sites identified by NACO etc," the circular added.

The Karnataka government has also instructed officials to create awareness about simple preventive strategies and prompt reporting of monkeypox cases from the community. 

At least two beds will be designated for isolation of suspect, confirmed infections in all District Hospitals and adequate human resource and logistic support should be provided for the cases, the circular said. In addition, officials have been asked to make all arrangements for sample collection and transportation to the designated laboratory in case of any suspected monkeypox case. 

Meanwhile, Kerala confirmed its third monkeypox case today (July 22) after a 35-year-old man, who reached the state from the UAE earlier this month, tested positive for the zoonotic virus. Kerala Health Minister Veena George said the patient, a Malappuram native, had arrived in the southern state on July 6 and had fever since July 13. She said his condition is stable. The first case of monkeypox was reported from Kerala's Kollam district on July 14 and the second infection came to the fore last week in the Kannur district.

(With agency inputs)

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