Two suspected monkeypox cases detected in J-K

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Two suspected cases of monkeypox have been detected in the Uri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, officials said on Monday.

They said that both the suspected patients are from the Dazna Lachipora area of Uri and as a precautionary measure they have been isolated. The duo has developed a fever and lesions resembling monkeypox or chickenpox on their skin, they said.

“Their samples have been sent to the SKIMS microbiology department,” Block Medical Officer Boniyar Dr Pervaiz Masoodi, confirmed to a local news agency, Global News Service (GNS).

He said the duo has “Maculopapular rash” over the body, mostly on the face and abdomen.

“So far we cannot say whether these suspected people have monkeypox or chickenpox but at the same time cannot rule out either,” he said.

“We have taken the samples and in the coming days and the reports are expected soon to find out what kind of disease is this,” he said.

Dr Masoodi said that an awareness drive had been launched to raise awareness among the people regarding the disease.

“Awareness among the population was immediately imparted by a medical team. School teachers, PRIs, and locals Imams were sensitized and made fully aware of the disease,” he said.

He said on getting information on 6 October regarding the suspected case of chickenpox or monkeypox in the area, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Baramulla and Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) team district Baramulla were informed.

Immediately, he said, the IDSP Team of Medical Block Boniyar visited Dazna Lachipora and examined all villagers and isolated infected people.

On 8 October, he said, the state epidemiology team along with (IDSP) team Baramulla visited the spot and took samples of infected people. Actually, sources said, samples of eight people have been taken but due to the severity of symptoms, samples of two persons have been sent to the SKIMS microbiology department for testing to confirm or rule out the possibility of monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease with symptoms similar to smallpox, although with less clinical severity. With cases being reported from a large number of countries, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has termed the outbreak a global health emergency. (GNS)

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