Health experts suggested stepping up surveillance to prevent silent spread of monkeypox after the National Institute of Virology (NIV) confirmed the first monkeypox fatality in the nation. The moment has come, according to Dr. PS Indu, professor and head of the department of community medicine at the Government Medical College in Kollam, who was speaking to ANI.
Stressing the surveillance, Dr Indu said, “Surveillance is important. To know what is happening around us, we need data. And this can only happen when people screen them and get tested.”
She said it is important to strengthen surveillance, otherwise, silent transmission can be speared and warned about complications and silent transmission of monkeypox if surveillance is not get strengthened.
“Screening is important, otherwise, the silent transmission can spread and then people will come with complications. All countries have to take action and share data with important information,” added Dr Indu.
The health expert further explained the complications of the virus.
“It is a virus which can create issues like infection in the mouth, cavity, rashes that you see in the face, lymphadenopathy, lesions on palms and soles,” Dr Indu said.
“The secondary infections are dermatology complications and central nervous system complications which can result in mortality death. And other issues that affect the brain. Encephalitis is an infection of the brain,” she added.
Later, she also stressed wearing masks to avoid face-to-face contact and said, “We need to continue to wear masks and avoid face-to-face and skin-to-skin contact with people who are not aware of their potential symptoms.”
There is a monkeypox vaccination as well, but these are the long-term policy choices, she continued.
Veena George, the Kerala Health Minister, said earlier in the day that tests on a 22-year-old with signs of monkeypox who passed away on July 30 revealed a positive result for the viral zoonotic virus.
The young man, who was from Chavakkad Kuranjiyur in the Thrissur district and tested positive there, passed away on July 30 in Kerala.
He received antibiotics as well as treatment for encephalitis, abnormal seizures, and other illnesses.
Twenty high-risk connections, including three health professionals from the private hospital—a doctor and two nurses—are currently being watched.
Notably, India has so far documented five instances of monkeypox, with three cases occurring in Kerala, one in Delhi, and one in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
The federal government is now on high alert as a result, despite an increase in the number of illnesses in several other nations.
There is absolutely no need for panic, according to Dr. V K Paul of NITI Aayog, who represents the health sector. This is because the government has taken significant steps to control the disease.
The monkeypox virus, which is a member of the same viral family as the smallpox virus, is what causes the zoonotic condition known as monkeypox.
The WHO reports that although instances have recently been recorded from non-endemic countries as well, the illness is endemic in places like West and Central Africa.