Monkeypox contact list in Kerala shows no symptoms

The conditions of three Monkeypox patients under treatment in Kerala remain stable and none of their primary contacts have tested positive 10 days after the first case was detected. Since then, the state Department of Health has sought to allay concerns about preparedness to deal with the situation, reiterating that there is no cause for concern as testing and adequate monitoring measures are in place.

The state has already issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) after a second case was reported July 20 days after the first, an official spokesperson said. The SOP has established clear guidelines for the isolation, specimen collection, and treatment of those infected or showing signs. Suspected cases should be handled in isolation and the District Surveillance Officer (DSO) should be notified immediately.

State issues SOPs

The samples must be taken according to the protocols established by the National Institute of Virology (INV) and the DSO will be responsible for transmitting them to the laboratory. Referrals from private hospitals to public facilities should be at the request of the patient, and only critically ill patients from public hospitals with isolation facilities should be referred to medical schools.

Health workers have been told to monitor people on the master contact list for 21 days for any symptoms by calling them by phone and recording their temperature twice a day. The health worker or nurse-in-charge should periodically visit the contacts’ homes to ensure that they are following the guidelines. The state has since started testing Monkeypox at NIV, Alappuzha, with test kits brought from NIV, Pune.

Covid cases down

Meanwhile, an unseemly controversy has erupted, after Health Minister Veena George joined an issue with the Center denying that the Monkeypox outbreak had led to a loosening of preventive measures against Covid-19. The state continues to strictly follow all related protocols, she said, adding that any alleged remarks to the contrary are “unfortunate” and political in nature. The preventive measures were the same for Covid-19 and Monkeypox, and therefore no relaxation in observing them, she added.

The Covid test positivity rate (TPR) fell to 11.46% on Monday, from recent highs of nearly 20% during the last reported surge in cases in the state. New daily cases fell below 2,000 for the first time in 10 days. The average TPR has averaged 12.3% over the past seven days, compared to 13.83% since the start of the pandemic. Seven deaths were reported on Monday while the number was in the double digits most days so far in July.

Published on

July 26, 2022

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