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Co-passengers of second monkeypox patient asymptomatic, say Karnataka health authorities

Sources in the health department said that there were 33 contacts—eight in Udupi, 15 from Kasargod, and 10 in Dakshina Kannada—and nobody has reported any symptom of monkeypox.

The most common symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, and swollen lymph nodes, along with pox rashes that last for two to three weeks. (Photo: WHO)

Karnataka health authorities said Thursday that all the co-passengers of the country’s second monkeypox patient, a man from Kannur who arrived at the Mangalore International Airport (MIA) from Dubai on July 13, are asymptomatic.

Sources in the health department said that there were 33 contacts—eight in Udupi, 15 from Kasargod, and 10 in Dakshina Kannada—and nobody has reported any symptom of monkeypox.

“Today is the 15th day of the 10 passengers who were put under home isolation in Mangaluru and no one has developed any symptoms. They will remain in home isolation for the next six days as well. We are constantly monitoring the situation. The isolated ones have been asked to report if they develop any symptoms like rashes, fever, chills, fatigue etc. The health department is on its toes and they are following up with them,” said Dr Jagadeesh, District Surveillance Officer (DSO), Dakshina Kannada.

However, health authorities have put the immigration officer at the MIA airport under isolation. “We have put him for precautionary measures even though he was not the co-passenger of the infected. The officer also did not report any symptoms. We have not received any report of any co-passenger even in the other district of Karnataka developing any symptoms,” said a Dakshina Kannada health officer.

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After the second case of monkeypox was confirmed in India, the Karnataka government on July 13 instructed district health officials to accelerate surveillance activities and keep a strong vigil. The guidelines issued to the district authorities are in tandem with those issued by the Central Government in May and the Karnataka Covid Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on monkeypox.

The circular, issued by health commissioner Randeep D, read, “District Health Officials/District Surveillance Officers have to ensure that the health screening teams at Points of Entries (PoEs) into the State, 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.”

Four cases of monkeypox have been reported in Kerala and Delhi in India and it has spread to more than 70 countries as of July 26. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the disease as a public health emergency of international concern.

First published on: 28-07-2022 at 14:26 IST
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