India trains scientists from other countries to counter threat of monkeypox


NEW DELHI: With monkeypox concerns escalating, scientists at ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune are training experts from Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, from Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam to deal with the new threat. As part of India’s response to the sequestration of its population from the new threat, NIV scientists are training their counterparts in these countries on testing, clinical symptoms, case definitions, specimen collection and the equipment required for the tests.

India has reported nine cases of monkeypox so far. While five cases are reported in Kerala and three cases have been detected in New Delhi.

“ICMR-NIV, Pune has conducted such training programs for other countries from time to time as we have done during the Covid pandemic and even before for biosafety and biohazard mitigation. If these countries develop the capacity to diagnose and detect monkeypox cases in their own country, this would improve the detection of suspected cases and reduce the importation of travel-related cases to other countries. held on Monday, about 139 participants from various countries participated,” said Dr. Pragya Yadav, Senior Scientist at NIV, Pune.

“We not only offer the capacity building program to other countries, but also provide test kits, reagents and probes to other countries whenever we receive such requests,” Dr Priya said. Abraham (Director of NIV Pune).

Monkeypox is characterized by fever accompanied by an unexplained acute rash all over the body. Other symptoms include headaches, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and body aches, back pain, and profound weakness.

Last week, the Apex NIV laboratory institute isolated the monkeypox virus strain to help pharmaceutical companies develop a monkeypox vaccine and diagnostic kits. In addition, the institute has been designated as a reference laboratory for the detection of suspected cases. In addition, 15 other laboratories in the ICMR-VRDL (Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory) network have been optimized to perform diagnostic tests for monkeypox disease.

Meanwhile, the center has formed a national task force to monitor the development of diagnostics and vaccines. The Union government has instructed health officers at airports and ports to remain vigilant and carry out rigorous health screening of incoming international passengers.

According to the WHO, as of July 27, around 18,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide from 78 countries and five deaths have been reported.

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