First monkeypox patient reported in Sri Lanka

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Sri Lanka has reported the first case of monkeypox in a youth who had arrived from Dubai earlier this week.

Medical Research Institute of the Health Ministry said the 20-year-old Sri Lankan youth arrived from Dubai on the 1st of November was found to have been infected with monkeypox virus.

This is also the first time that a Sri Lankan with monkeypox has been found in the country.

According to reports, the youth in question was referred to the national sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic on November 02, with fever and skin blisters. He came to this clinic with other symptoms including enlarged lymph nodes and fatigue.

The doctors of the National STD Clinic suspecting monkeypox have referred the youth to the virology department of the Medical Research Institute.

Drs Janaki Abeynayake and Jude Jayamaha, specialists in the virology department of the Medical Research Institute, have performed a monkeypox-specific real-time PCR test overnight on several samples obtained from the patient.

After thorough analysis, the two doctors have identified genes specific to monkeypox in each sample and confirmed on November 03 that the patient is infected with the monkeypox virus.

MRI has tested six suspected patients for monkeypox since the establishment of real-time PCR assay in July this year, Dr. Vijith Gunasekara, Director of the Medical Research Institute, said. However, this is the first laboratory-confirmed case of monkeypox in Sri Lanka and the seventh suspected case tested by the MRI.

The patient found in Sri Lanka is currently being treated at Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH).

The World Health Organization has announced that monkeypox disease is spreading in 109 countries. Currently, 77,573 cases have been found worldwide.

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