IGMH being prepared to test for monkeypox

IGMH | Photo: Google

Malé, Maldives – Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH)’s laboratory is being prepared to test for monkeypox, revealed Health Protection Agency (HPA) today.

Local news have reported that as contagious diseases should be tested for in properly equipped laboratories, HPA has decided that IGMH will be the designated testing site for monkeypox, and as such, is being prepared to do so.

Referring to a statement made by an HPA official, local news outlet Adhadhu reported that currently the laboratory requires test kits and installation of a testing set up, and that testing can only commence once these requirements are met.

Testing for contagious diseases in the Maldives is carried out under the guidance of HPA, in laboratories with appropriate biosafety levels. However, Covid-19 testing is an exception in the country, with many hospitals and clinics having testing facilities established countrywide.

Although currently there is no functional testing setup for monkeypox, World Health Organisation (WHO) donated 250 monkeypox test kits to the Maldives on 31st of July. During the handover ceremony of the test kits, Health Ministry of Maldives stated that the country has the capacity to investigate, contact trace and test, as well as disseminate information regarding the disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

Patients may experience all or only a few symptoms.

  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
  • Others only experience a rash.

For more information on monkeypox, visit the CDC website.