Isolation wards, contact tracing: How southern states are preparing for monkeypox

With a 34-year-old man in Delhi testing positive for monkeypox, the number of known cases in India rose to four on July 24.

After a 34-year-old man with no travel history was found infected with monkeypox in Delhi on July 24, India’s tally rose to four. The Union government has held a high-level review meeting on the matter, with the other three cases being detected in Kerala. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the current outbreak of monkeypox a global health emergency on July 21.

According to the WHO, monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals), with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although clinically less severe. As contact tracing and quarantine of those who came into contact with the most recent patient – the infected man in Delhi – continues, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital (LNJP), which was the nerve center of the national capital’s fight against COVID-19, also constituted a 20-member team made up of dermatologists, doctors, doctors of different specialties, nurses, orderlies and technicians.

Here’s what South Indian states are doing to prepare and prevent the spread of the disease.


Kerala has three known cases of monkeypox – the most recent was a 35-year-old man, who came to the UAE state on July 6 and confirmed to have monkeypox on July 22. The first patient – in the state and the country – is a native of Kollam who had traveled to the United Arab Emirates and was confirmed to have monkeypox on July 14. And the second case is a 31-year-old native of Kannur who returned to Dubai State on July 13, confirmed to be infected on July 18.

The state government issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) on July 20 regarding the isolation, specimen collection and treatment of people suspected of having monkeypox or showing symptoms. Kerala Health Minister Veena George said anyone who has traveled in the last 21 days to a country where monkeypox has been reported and who has red spots on their body as well as one or many of the other symptoms, such as fever, headache, or body aches. , should suspect infection with the virus. Additionally, all primary contacts should be monitored for 21 days by monitoring them by phone and recording their temperature twice a day.

Patients with monkeypox and those transporting them to healthcare facilities should wear PPE kits, N95 masks, gloves and other protective equipment.

The state government has also required that samples be collected based on National Institute of Virology (NIV) protocols and sent to the same lab. Patients should be referred to private hospitals from public hospitals based on patient requests, and only critically ill patients from public hospitals with isolation facilities should be referred to medical schools.


Telangana currently has one suspected case of monkeypox – a 40-year-old man who returned from Kuwait on July 6 and is from Kamareddy district in Telangana. He developed a fever on July 20 and rashes on July 23, and was transferred to Government Fever Hospital in Hyderabad. Six of the individuals’ contacts are also being kept in isolation.

Telangana Health Minister Harish Rao has called for monkeypox tests to be carried out at airports, but a decision on this will have to be made by the Union Government.

Apart from adhering to Union Government protocols, specific public hospitals would also be identified so that patients can receive the required support without delay. The state government is reportedly designating isolation centers.

“As per the orders of the Honorable Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, they are studying the disease which is being reported in different countries and other states and keeping abreast of the WHO and ICMR guidelines,” Rao had said, according to a July 18 press release. “As soon as suspicious symptoms related to the virus are identified, samples should be taken from the victims and tests should be carried out,” he added.

People are also advised to contact 04024651119 and 9030227324 for seasonal illnesses, monkeypox, vaccination and advice in flood affected areas.


Karnataka has stepped up monkeypox surveillance given the three cases in Kerala. The State Government has directed all districts to ensure effective preparedness and take necessary action in accordance with Union Government guidelines and Technical Advisory Committee recommendations regarding monkeypox.

District Health Officers (DHOs)/District Surveillance Officers (DSOs) have been instructed to ensure that health screening teams at Points of Entry (PoE) into the state (airports or seaports) , disease surveillance teams and physicians working in hospitals need to be reoriented on common signs and symptoms, diagnosis, case definitions, etc. suspected, probable and confirmed cases of monkeypox and contacts. They should also be trained in contact tracing and other surveillance activities that should be undertaken after a probable case of Monkeypox is detected, such as testing and other associated IPC (infection prevention and control) protocols and clinical management. , indicates the circular. Intensive risk communication should be undertaken for healthcare workers in healthcare settings and in commonly identified sites such as skin and pediatrics, DPOs, vaccination clinics and intervention sites identified by NACO, etc

In all district hospitals, two beds should be designated for the isolation of suspected and confirmed cases.

Andhra Pradesh

As a child suspected of having monkeypox in Andhra Pradesh has tested negative for the disease, the Andhra Pradesh chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has advised the state to take precautions . According to a report, IMA Andhra Pradesh President Srinivasa Raju said measures such as screening international travellers, obtaining the monkeypox vaccine from Australia and designating isolation in district hospitals for those suspected of having the disease in the future should be taken. The IMA has also advised awareness programs for health and nursing professionals and for those who were not vaccinated against smallpox as children.

Tamil Nadu

Like Karnataka, which stepped up monkeypox surveillance after neighboring Kerala recorded monkeypox cases, Tamil Nadu has also done the same. According to reports, people in TN districts bordering Kerala are experiencing leveling. In addition, district hospitals and medical college hospitals also test people with fever and skin lesions, which is a symptom of monkeypox.

Last week, the state had stepped up screening at the state’s international airports – Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore and Tiruchi – after preparing and communicating a list of high-risk countries to airport authorities. A 10-bed ward has also been opened at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH), Chennai, to prepare for monkeypox cases.

With PTI inputs

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