No monkeypox presence in Kashmir as tests of two Uri residents return negative, say officials

COVID testing equipment on table in a healthcare facility in Srinagar. [FPK File Photo/ Zainab]

Srinagar: Both samples tested for monkeypox in Uri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district have returned negative for the viral disease, officials said on Wednesday.

“Jammu and Kashmir has no laboratory-confirmed case of monkeypox so far. Two samples referred to the microbiology department of SKIMS Soura so far have tested negative,” a senior officer of the health department told GNS.

He said that the specimens of both the patients—one a minor girl and another young man—were taken last week and both have returned negative for viral disease.

The authorities have already started an awareness drive to raise awareness among the people regarding the disease.

Officials said that on getting information on 6 October regarding the suspected case of chickenpox or monkeypox in Dazna, Lachipora, Boniyar, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Baramulla and Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) team district Baramulla were informed.

Immediately, he said, IDSP Team of Medical Block Boniyar visited Dazna Lachipora and examined all villagers and isolated infected people.

On 8 October, he said, the state epidemiology team along with (IDSP) team Baramulla visited the spot and took samples of infected people. The tests of the duo were sent to SKIMS microbiology department for testing to confirm or rule out the possibility of monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease with symptoms similar to smallpox, although with less clinical severity. With cases being reported from a large number of countries, the World Health Organisation has termed the outbreak a global health emergency.


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