How is Kerala fighting against moneybox?
- First case of monkeypox in country was detected in Kerala
- Four days later, second case was confirmed at Kannur. While both patients are in isolation and treatment, the State Health department has strengthened surveillance and control measures across all districts.
Why did cases first surface in Kerala?
- Kerala has four international airports, sizeable expatriate population and it is a globally favoured travel destination.
- So probability of any newly emerging pathogen first arriving in Kerala has always been high.
Steps being taken by Kerala
- Health department sent out message not to panic as monkeypox doesn’t spread through air like COVID-19.
- As soon as infected patient was isolated, close contacts were also isolated.
- Monkeypox advisories were sent out to districts resulting in setting up of State and district-level monitoring cells.
- Districts were asked to strengthen field-level surveillance of cases with fever and rashes along with other symptoms
- Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) prepared by Kerala government outlines steps to be followed with regard to isolation, treatment and sample collection of suspected and probable cases of disease
What does this mean for other States?
- They need to strengthen their surveillance networks so that source cases can be identified at earliest and prevented.
- Focus on creating more awareness about monkeypox and its transmission dynamics
- Airport surveillance has a huge role, monkeypox has a long incubation period so some passengers who may have been infected, may develop symptoms only much later.
Is Kerala worried about community transmission of monkeypox?
- Secondary attack rate of virus is less than 10%, indicating that chances of monkeypox spreading are remote.
- Reports from U.K. and other European nations indicate cases of monkeypox with atypical symptoms
- Virus spread through extreme high-risk skin-to-skin contact and hence Health department will also be tapping into its HIV surveillance network to sharpen surveillance and sensitize MSM communities about threat of a sustained transmission of monkeypox.