WHO has declared the ongoing monkeypox outbreak as a global health emergency on 23-07 2022. The current outbreak started in May 2022, and till date 16,836 cases are reported in 74 countries across the globe. In India 3 cases from Kerala and 1 case from New Delhi has alreadyÂ been reported as monkeypox.Â
Major General Dr. Vibha Dutta, SM, Director, AIIMS Nagpur, informed that the Viral ResearchÂ Diagnosis Laboratory (VRDL), under the Department of Microbiology, has been appointed asÂ the nodal laboratory for testing samples of suspected monkeypox cases by Indian Council ofÂ Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi.Â
Dr. Meena Mishra, Professor and Head, Principal Investigator of VRDL, Department ofÂ Microbiology, AIIMS, Nagpur, informed that ICMR has provided the Real Time PCR kit for detection of monkey pox, and that the entire staff has obtained training and the laboratory isÂ fully equipped with equipment’s, kits and reagents to detect the monkeypox cases from theÂ samples of the suspected cases that will be received for diagnosis.
Dr. Meena Mishra explainedÂ that a suspected case of monkey pox is a person presenting with an unexplained acute rash,Â headache, fever, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain/body aches, weakness etc. Similarly, aÂ person with history of contact to a probable or confirmed case of monkey pox, travel historyÂ to a monkeypox endemic country or has had multiple/anonymous sexual partners in the pastÂ 21 days, also needs to be tested for monkey pox.Â
Various samples such as lesion fluid, lesion base scrapping, lesion crust, blood and urineÂ samples, nasopharyngeal and oro-pharyngeal swabs, will be processed for the detection of monkeypox. As monkeypox is associated with various complications such as corneal infections leading to loss of vision, secondary bacterial infections, pneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis etc., especially in the high risk groups comprising of pregnant women, children and the immunocompromised, including HIV, the laboratory diagnosis of monkey pox is very important.Â