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Monkeypox : Kerala sets up help desks at airports, starts awareness programme

- July 17, 2022

Thiruvananthapuram, July 17 (BPNS)

Stepping up vigil against the monkeypox virus, help desks have come up at the four international airports in the state. According to the health department, helpdesks will act both as a screening point and as a place to clarify doubts regarding the disease. Meanwhile, to bust the myths surrounding monkeypox, a live awareness programme will be conducted on Monday.

“The help desks set up at Thiruvananthapuram, Nedumbassery, Kozhikode, and Kannur international airports will screen returnees having monkeypox-like symptoms. Those who had doubts about having the virus could also make use of the facility. Trained staff were appointed here,” said Veena George, health minister.

The minister also added that isolation wards have been set up in all districts.

Health officials said that as monkeypox can cause a rash which may look like pimples or blisters, sometimes with a flu-like illness, those having the same should immediately seek medical care.

“You may experience all or only a few of the symptoms of monkeypox. Most people with monkeypox will get a rash. Some people have developed a rash before (or without) flu-like symptoms. The flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later,” said an official.

At the same time, the health department has decided to join hands with the Indian Medical Association and the Kerala Institute for Local Administration (KILA) to provide in-depth information to understand the epidemiology, modes of transmission, clinical presentation, diagnostics, and treatment of monkeypox. The strategies needed for effective prevention and outbreak investigation and response are also expected to be provided.

“In the fight against monkeypox, doctors at private hospitals, private practitioners, doctors in the Ayush sector, local body staff, health volunteers, Asha workers, Kudumbashree workers, and others will also join the health department. So to prepare them an awareness programme will be conducted on Monday. The session from 11 am to 12 pm could also be attended by the public,” added the official.

The public could access the awareness programme via https://www.youtube.com/c/kilatcr