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With over 30,000 suspected or confirmed cases of monkeypox detected even in non-endemic countries, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health has issued guidelines on surveillance, identification and confirmation of viral infection in the country. So far, no cases of Monkeypox have been detected in Sri Lanka.

The Health Promotion Office of the Ministry of Health said that relevant institutions under the Ministry of Health, which are preparing to deal with the rapidly spreading “monkeypox” epidemic in the world, have published guidelines needed to identify suspected patients at the same time as beginning testing for disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Monkeypox can cause a range of signs and symptoms. While some people have mild symptoms, others may develop more severe symptoms and require care at a health facility. Those most at risk of serious illness or complications include pregnant women, children, and immunocompromised people.

The most common symptoms of monkeypox are fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, lack of energy and swollen lymph nodes. This is followed or accompanied by the development of a rash that can last for two to three weeks. The rash can be found on the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, eyes, mouth, throat, groin, and genital and/or anal areas of the body. The number of lesions can vary from one to several thousand. The lesions start out flat, then fill with fluid before crusting over, drying out and falling off, with a new layer of skin forming underneath.

Symptoms usually last two to three weeks and usually go away on their own or with supportive care, such as pain or fever medication. People stay contagious until all the lesions have scabbed over, the scabs have fallen off, and a new layer of skin has formed underneath.

If any of the symptoms mentioned above are present, the person is considered suspected of being infected with monkeypox.

However, since there are many illnesses such as chickenpox, measles, shingles (chickenpox) and bacterial skin infections that cause similar symptoms, it is best to see a doctor to determine if a person with the symptoms above should be suspected. be infected with ‘Monkeypox’.

A person is suspected of having ‘monkey pox’ based on the above symptoms, if you have had close physical or sexual contact with a confirmed patient with ‘monkey pox’ or within 21 days of onset of symptoms, had intimate physical contact with a stranger or more than one person; or If blood tests or PCR tests give results related to the monkeypox virus group, he or she is classified as possibly infected with “monkeypox”.

At present, it is only possible to definitively confirm that a person is a “Monkeypox patient” by a PCR test performed on scabs from skin lesions, skin fragments or pus from the wound.