Oral, Nasal, Urine Samples Critical Specimens For Monkeypox Diagnosis: ICMR Study


After India recorded its first fatal case of monkeypox in July, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted a study to obtain key insights into monkeypox infection. The study reports that in cases with no active skin lesions, oropharyngeal swabs (OPS), nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) and urine samples should be considered as critical specimens for monkeypox diagnosis. The first fatal case of monkeypox in India from Kerala highlights the importance of maintaining a high index of suspicion to diagnose the viral disease in the people exhibiting atypical manifestations and exanthematous fever (illness that produces skin infection), the study states, news agency PTI reports . The study describing the findings was published as a pre-print on September 14.

As many as 11 cases of monkeypox have been reported in India so far. Of these, five are from Kerala and six are from Delhi.

The Indian patient who died due to monkeypox was a 22-year-old male with no significant past medical history, the report says. Following a single episode of acute-onset generalized tonic-clonic seizures, he was admitted in an unconscious state to a private hospital in Kerala. Tonic-clonic seizures involve stiffening and twitching of a person’s muscles, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

On July 15, the patient developed a fever and headache. At that time, he was in the UAE. The fever and headache were followed by the development of painful right inguinal lymphadenopathy with pus discharge. Inguinal lymphadenopathy often accompanies groin infection and is characteristic of inflammatory pathology almost anywhere in the groin. Following this, the person sought medical care on July 19.

On July 21, he returned from the UAE to Kerala after he was partially relieved of his symptoms. On July 23, he played football. This worsened the pain in his right inguinal area. For this, he consulted a surgeon on July 25 in Kerala. There, he was diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa. This is a painful, long-term skin condition that causes abscesses and scarring on the skin.

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