Monkeypox can enter country – Dr. Jeewandara

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Director of Operations and Clinical Services at Allergy Immunology and Cell Biology Unit, University of Sri Jayewardenepura Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said there were all possibilities of the monkeypox entering the country as it was a viral infection. 

Dr. Jeewandara when contacted after a 31-year-old from New Delhi was diagnosed with the viral infection on Sunday (24) said that there were all possibilities of the disease entering the country as it is a viral infection.

“It is why the World Health Organisation (WHO) labelled it as a public health emergency of international concern,” he observed.

He said, “This is not a pandemic but only WHO declared Public Health Emergency. It was difficult to hide the symptoms of the disease. Therefore, it would not be difficult to monitor a patient arriving from abroad.”

This is not like Covid-19. And it does not spread as fast as Covid-19 either. Also awareness can be created with regard to the disease. Should a patient be detected, that person could be quarantined in order to prevent disease spread. 

Identifying the symptoms, Dr. Jeewandara said that patients with monkeypox would have fever, enlargement of the lymph nodes and a rash which could be painful sometimes.” The USJP had the technology to carry out tests on the Monkeypox virus,” he noted.

Dr. Jeewandara said that there was a rise in the number of monkeypox cases that were being identified- especially in the European and United States regions this year with no direct link to African countries where the disease was first identified in the 1970s. Although it was not a sexually transmitted disease, scientists have found that it was prevalent amongst men who had sex with men. The fatality rate of the virus was about one to ten per cent depending on the strain that the patient is affected with, he added.  

By Dilanthi Jayamanne