Laboratorians from Latin America are trained in the detection of monkeypox

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The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Mexican Ministry of Health train laboratory professionals from nine Latin American countries in the detection of monkeypox or monkeypox.

Timely detection of the virus is the first step to prevent the spreadinterrupt chains of transmission and stop an outbreak.

Monkeypox is a zoonosis characterized by a rash or skin lesions on the face, buccal mucosa, genital areas, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. The infection can spread to the rest of the body.

difficult diagnosis

Clinical diagnosis of monkeypox is difficult in developing countries. where the disease is not endemic since there is a wide variety of conditions that cause skin rashes, hence the need to develop capacities in laboratories in Latin American countries to carry out molecular detection tests for monkeypox virus.

PAHO noted that since the virus it has been detected in many countries where the disease is not endemicany suspected or probable case of the disease should be tested.

is defined as suspected case to the presentation of a widespread, acute and unexplained skin rash in a person living in a country where the disease is not endemic, who also has a headache or backache or who experiences sudden fever. Before the analysis, conditions such as chicken pox, measles and herpes zoster, among others, must have been ruled out.

A likely case is the one that meets the definition of a suspected case and one or more criteria such as close exposure without respiratory protection, direct contact with contaminated materials – including clothing or bedding – of another probable or confirmed case of monkeypox during the 21 days before the onset of symptoms. It can also be someone who has traveled to a country where the disease is endemic in the 21 days before the onset of symptoms.

timely identification

The UN agency recommended that countries ensure the timely identification of suspected or probable cases, the sample collectiontheir safe transportation and the implementation of molecular detection protocols, respecting biosafety protocols and good microbiological practices in the National Reference Laboratories, in accordance with existing capacity.

The sample for laboratory examination is taken from the skin lesion of a person with symptoms, and the test result may take one to three days from the moment the sample is received in the laboratory.

practical training

Yesterday and today, PAHO and the Mexican government, through the Ministry of Health, conducted training on the detection and laboratory diagnosis of monkeypox.

National and regional experts gave professionals from laboratories in Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador received practical training in molecular detection (real-time PCR) of the virus that causes the disease and reviewed the detection and diagnosis protocols in the context of preparedness and response to potential outbreaks.

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), 42 countries had reported the presence of the virus as of June 17 and the accumulated cases confirmed in the laboratory from January 1 to June 15 of this year totaled 2,103.

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