Brazil's Health Ministry has increased to 31 the number of laboratories nationwide equipped to corroborate if a patient's infection corresponds to monkeypox through the delivery of testing kits developed and produced by the Rio de Janeiro-based Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz).
All central public health laboratories nationwide (known as Lacens) have been supplied with these tools last week. Before then, testing was available only at 15 facilities throughout the country: the 27 Lacens and the laboratories at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), of Fiocruz in Rio de Janeiro and in Amazonas, and that of the Evandro Chagas Institute in Belém.
Testing is mandatory if a patient is suspected of having caught the disease and healthcare facilities must file their reports to the National List of Compulsory Notification of diseases. In other words, the results of all monkeypox tests whether positive, negative, or inconclusive, must be notified to the Health Ministry within 24 hours.
According to Brazilian experts, the Fiocruz test can detect the genetic material of the virus in samples collected from each individual, preferably, from the secretion of purulent lesions. When these are already dry, the crusts can be removed and sent to the laboratory, it was also explained.
Patients who test positive are recommended to remain the isolation until the scabs disappear and the skin completely heals, without the need for a new test. Severely ill patients have 12 types of treatment available and the federal government is negotiating the purchase of other antiviral drugs.
Earlier this month, Brazil received the first 9.8 thousand doses of immunizers against the disease. The Jynneos/Imvanex vaccines were acquired by the Ministry of Health through the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) rotational fund for effectiveness studies. The total amount to be acquired by the Ministry of Health is 49,000 doses, which will be received in two more shipments.
The most common symptoms of monkeypox are rash or lesions spread over the skin; swollen adenomegaly/lymph nodes, also known as swelling; headache; chills, and weakness.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)