A Belgium national was tested for suspected monkeypox after he showed symptoms of the infection, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Tuesday.
“No monkeypox case has been reported in Karnataka so far. There were three suspects out of which two in Bengaluru have turned out negative. The third suspect, a Belgium national, found in Uttara Kannada district, was subjected to a test and his report is awaited,” he said.
Sudhakar was talking to reporters after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on monkeypox.
The health minister said there was no need to panic as the government is taking all precautionary measures including thermal screening at airports and strict surveillance in districts bordering Kerala.
”The WHO declared the monkeypox outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) on July 22. About 20,000 cases have been reported in 80 countries across the world,” he said.
Epidemic Diseases Hospital in Bengaluru and Wenlock hospital in Mangaluru are identified as designated hospitals for isolation of monkeypox suspects. Confirmed cases will be isolated and treated for 21 days until the rashes on skin are cured, the minister said.
Fever, rashes on skin, swelling of lymph nodes are common symptoms of monkeypox and our government has already issued a circular for mandatory thermal screening at airports and other entry points, Sudhakar said.
He said all district authorities have been alerted to take precautionary measures. Particularly, a strict vigil is kept on districts bordering Kerala, he added.
The minister, however, said monkeypox is not as contagious as Covid and it spreads only when a person is in prolonged contact with the infected person.