Monkeypox: Testing of samples started at Alappuzha NIV; says health minister

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Representative image | Photo: AFP

Thiruvananthapuram: Health Minister Veena George has informed that tests were started for identifying the monkeypox outbreak in Kerala. The test of the collected samples is being conducted at the National Institute of Virology unit in Alappuzha.

Earlier, the health department took measures to get testing kits from Pune Virology institute to start testing in the state. Samples collected from various districts are sent to the institute for testing.

Health Minister said that strict protocol is followed in the tests to identify the monkeypox virus. The minister added that it was a great success on the part of the health department to set up a system to test samples days after the state recorded the first monkeypox case.

Currently, 28 government labs in the state have the facility for conducting RT-PCR tests to identify Monkeypox infection. The minister said that more facilities would be adopted if the number of cases increases in the state.

"Testing has started at NIV Alapuzha. Kits have been brought to NIV Alapuzha from Pune. Samples from districts are now being sent to Alapuzha for testing. A new disease has been reported in the state. Following that testing is being conducted by taking all precautions. Testing samples in Kerala will reduce the time duration to get the result," said Veena George.

India reported its second case of monkeypox in Kerala's Kannur district on July 18.

A 31-year-old man has contracted the infection and is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital. The first case of the monkeypox virus also originated in India on July 14 after a UAE traveller returned to Kerala. He has been admitted to Thiruvananthapuram medical college.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), monkeypox is a viral zoonotic infection caused by the monkeypox virus. It spreads mostly from human contact.

The multidisciplinary central team of officials has been already deployed by the Union Health Ministry.

Those in close contact with him have been put under surveillance, the minister added.

Earlier on July 14, India reported the first Monkeypox case of a UAE traveller from Kerala.

(with inputs from PTI)

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