In the wake of confirmed cases of ‘Monkeypox’ disease in neighbouring Kerala, the Karnataka government has decided to speed up surveillance activities and keep a strong vigil in the state. It has instructed all the districts in the State to ensure effective preparedness and take required action as per the Centre’s guidelines and Technical Advisory Committee recommendations regarding Monkeypox.
The circular in this regard by the Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare comes following a second case of Monkeypox being reported from Kannur district of Kerala on July 18 in which there was a history of contact with a case of disease in UAE.
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. They should also be trained on contact tracing and other surveillance activities that need to be undertaken following detection of a probable Monkeypox case like testing and other associated IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) protocols and clinical management, the circular said.
Noting that all suspected cases at points of entries, and in the community should be screened and tested through both hospital-based surveillance and targeted surveillance, it said, confirmed cases should be isolated for at least 21 days and until all lesions have resolved and scabs have completely fallen off. 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. Awareness should be created among public about simple preventive strategies and the need for prompt reporting of cases from the community, the circular added.
Officials have also been directed to designate at least 2 beds for isolation of suspect, confirmed cases in all District Hospitals and ensure adequate human resource and logistic support to manage suspect and confirmed cases of Monkeypox. All the arrangements to be made for sample collection and transportation to the designated laboratory from the suspected Monkeypox case reported if any, it added.