Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh government has braced up to face monkeypox by asking its health workers to identify people suffering with its symptoms and notify it to send the swab or secretion samples of the infected patients for testing at National Institute of Virology in Pune.
Even though AP has not yet reported any case of monkeypox so far, the state health authorities asked the ANMs, Asha workers and others to check whether anyone was suffering with symptoms like fever, headache, cough, swelling in lymph nodes and developed any blisters on the body during their door-to-door fever survey.
Officials will also check the recent international travel history of people, to notify details to the health authorities. They, in turn, collect samples of either swab or secretion from blisters or mucous membrane from them and send such samples for analysis to NIV, Pune.
The test results are expected to be out within six to eight hours.
The health authorities are carrying out an awareness programme at all health centres ranging from PHCs to teaching hospitals in government medical colleges on symptoms of monkeypox and the safeguards to avoid getting infected with it.
They say that isolation, wearing a mask and maintaining social distance are the main means to avoid either getting infected with it or to infect others. AS the monkeypox is having self-limitation as it gets subsided within 21 days, those infected to be given regular medical treatment with antibiotics and paracetamol to control the fever.
Health sources say that the vaccine used to treat smallpox is recommended to be used to handle monkeypox as both the infections are having similar symptoms, but the vaccine for smallpox is no longer available as no such symptoms are being found of late.
However, the sources say in case more monkeypox cases are reported, there will be a chance to produce the vaccine meant for treating smallpox to be used to treat monkeypox also.
So far, a few monkeypox cases are being detected in Delhi and Kerala while there were more cases in the US and in central and western Africa.
AP health director Swarajya Lakshmi said, “We are fully prepared to deal with Monkeypox as our health personnel are instructed to find out people suffering with specific symptoms. We appeal to people to maintain isolation to avoid getting infected. So far, we are safe with no single case detected in the state.”...