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India Launches Indigenous Monkeypox Test Kit

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India has developed the first indigenously-developed RT-PCR kit for testing monkeypox disease. The kit was unveiled by Principal Scientific Adviser to the Centre Ajay Kumar Sood. It has been developed by Transasia Bio-Medicals.

Founder-chairman of Transasia Suresh Vazirani said the new kit would help in early detection and better management of the infection. WHO has declared Monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern.

Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is contemplating conducting a serosurvey among contacts of monkeypox patients to check if they have developed antibodies and to find out how many of them were asymptomatic.

According to WHO, monkeypox is a viral zoonosis — a virus transmitted to humans from animals — with symptoms similar to smallpox although clinically less severe.

Monkeypox typically manifests itself with fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications. It is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting for two to four weeks, according to Indian publication Mint.

The ‘Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease’ issued by the Indian government stated that human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through large respiratory droplets generally requiring prolonged close contact.

The disease is also contracted by coming in contact with body fluids or lesions, and indirect contact with lesion material such as through contaminated clothing or linen of an infected person. Animal-to-human transmission may occur by bite or scratch of infected animals or through bushmeat preparation.

The incubation period for the virus is usually from six to 13 days. The case fatality rate of monkeypox has historically ranged up to 11% in the general population and is higher among children. Recently, the case fatality rate has come down to around 3 to 6%.

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