Monitor for monkeypox, isolate suspected cases in healthcare facilities: TN govt

Chennai, May 23 (PTI) Tamil Nadu government on Monday directed the district Collectors and Commissioners of Corporations to monitor and identify suspected cases of monkeypox, if any, and isolate them at healthcare facilities for appropriate treatment.

Asking the officials to watch out for any symptoms among the people on this viral zoonotic disease, State Health and Family Welfare Principal Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said those who have travelled in the last 21 days to a country that has recently confirmed or suspected cases of the monkeypox should be monitored.

“All suspected cases should be isolated at designated healthcare facilities and the cases should be reported to the District Surveillance Officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme,” he said.

Issuing a set of instruction to the senior officials, he said all infection-control practices should be followed while treating such patients. “In the light of reports of few such cases in non-endemic countries, especially Europe, Canada, USA and Australia, I request you to keep yourself updated on the advisory and ensure that relevant surveillance suggested is followed up scrupulously,” he said, sharing the advisory from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on monkeypox.

Monkeypox that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa is occasionally exported to other regions. Typically, it presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications. Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from two to four weeks. Severe cases can occur, the NCDC note said.

Dr Radhakrishnan said laboratory samples of fluid from vesicles, blood and sputum, among others, should be sent to NIV Pune for testing in case of suspicion. If a positive case is detected, then contact-tracing has to be mmediately initiated to identify the contacts of the patient in the last 21 days, he said.