Thiruvananthapuram: India has reported its first confirmed case of monkeypox. A person who returned to Kerala from abroad and was hospitalised after showing signs of monkeypox tested positive for the same, state Health Minister Veena George said on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, the minister told reporters that his samples of the symptomatic person have been collected and sent to the National Institute of Virology for testing. George said that the person showed symptoms of monkeypox and he was in close contact with a monkeypox patient abroad. In the evening, she confirmed that he tested positive for the virus. It is the first case of the virus in Kerala.
The Kerala Health Department has issued guidelines on Monkeypox. “The patient is quite stable, and all the vitals are normal. The primary contacts are identified – his father, mother, taxi driver, auto driver, and 11 passengers of the same flight who were in adjacent seats,” Veena George said. She added, “There is nothing to worry about or to be anxious about. All the steps are being taken and the patient is stable.”
Meanwhile, following India’s first case of Monkeypox in Kollam, Kerala, Union Health Ministry is all set to deploy a multi-disciplinary Central team to support the Kerala government in probing the outbreak and instituting requisite health measures.
Following India’s first case of Monkeypox in Kollam, Kerala, Union Health Ministry to deploy a multi-disciplinary Central team to support the Kerala govt in probing the outbreak and instituting requisite health measures https://t.co/AhCcCBImx4 pic.twitter.com/E6Ia4uaRbp
— ANI (@ANI) July 14, 2022
What is monkeypox?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe. With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and the subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health.
What are the symptoms of the monkeypox virus?
The monkeypox virus typically presents itself with fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes. It may also lead to a range of medical complications. It is usually self-limiting with the symptoms lasting from two to four weeks and severe cases can also occur.
How does monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus. According to reports, it is spread by rodents such as rats, mice, and squirrels.
The monkeypox disease is transmitted through lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding.
Treatment for monkeypox
Vaccines used during the smallpox eradication program have also provided protection against the monkeypox virus. Newer vaccines have been developed of which one has been approved for the prevention of the disease. An antiviral agent developed for the treatment of smallpox has also been licensed for the treatment of monkeypox.
(With agency inputs)