India reports first case of Monkeypox from Kerala; Centre rushes high-level team

India reports first case of Monkeypox from Kerala; Centre rushes high-level team

"A Monkeypox positive case is reported. He is a traveller from UAE," said Kerala Health Minister Veena George.

(representative image) (representative image)

India on Thursday reported its first case of Monkeypox in Kerala's Kollam area, Health Minister Veena George told reporters.

"A Monkeypox positive case is reported. He is a traveller from UAE. He reached the state on 12th July. He reached Trivandrum airport and all the steps are being taken as per the guidelines issued by WHO and ICMR," George added.

George also added that Kerala Health department has issued guidelines on the viral disease. She also said that 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.

Monkeypox, endemic in parts of Africa, is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions.

Meanwhile, the central government deployed a multi-disciplinary team to support the Kerala government in probing the outbreak and instituting requisite health measures following the detection of the case.

Moreover, the Centre also wrote a letter to all the states and union territories, reiterating some of the key actions that are required to contain the spread of the disease. 

Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan asked all the states and union territories to take key actions like orientation and regular re-orientation of all key stakeholders including health screening teams at points of entries (PoEs), disease surveillance teams, doctors working in hospitals about common signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, case definitions for s for suspect/probable/confirmed cases and contacts, contact tracing and other surveillance activities that need to be undertaken following the detection of a case, testing, IPC protocols, clinical management etc.

According to World Health Organization (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. Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus. It is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from two to four weeks, WHO said.

Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding. As reported by WHO, Since January 1, 2022, and as of June 22, 2022, a total of 3413 laboratory-confirmed cases of Monkeypox and one death have been reported to WHO from 50 countries/territories.

Published on: Jul 14, 2022, 8:00 PM IST
Posted by: Aparna Banerjea, Jul 14, 2022, 7:56 PM IST