The patient is a traveller from UAE who reached Trivandrum airport, and all steps are being taken and the patient is stable, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said.

Lab testRawpixel /Representative image
news Health Thursday, July 14, 2022 - 20:36

The first case of monkeypox in India has been confirmed with the lab test results of a man from Kerala returning positive. “A monkey pox 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,” Kerala Health Minister Veena George said. 

The Minister added that the Kerala Health Department has issued guidelines on monkey pox, and the patient is quite stable, and all the vitals are normal. The patient’s primary contacts have been identified - his father, mother, taxi driver, auto driver, and 11 passengers  of the same flight who were in adjacent seats, the Minister said. “There is nothing to worry about or to be anxious about. All the steps are being taken and the patient is stable,” Veena George said. 

Following the report of confirmation of a case of monkeypox from the state, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to depute a multi-disciplinary central team to support the state government in investigating the outbreak and instituting public health measures. The team will consist of Dr P Ravindran, Advisor, MoHFW, Calicut; Dr Sanket Kulkarni, Joint Director, NCDC, New Delhi; Dr Arvind Kumar Arora, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Dr RMLH, New Delhi; and Dr Akhilesh Thole, Dermatologist, Dr RMLH, New Delhi. 

“This team will assist the state health authorities in outbreak containment and report every evening by 5 pm on the public health activities being undertaken to DM Cell, MoHFW, besides sharing the same with the state government,” a health ministry notification stated. 

The notification further said that the central teams will depart latest by July 15, and all institutional heads are requested to ensure that the team members are relieved accordingly. 

A person who returned from abroad has been admitted to a hospital in Kerala after he showed symptoms of monkeypox, Health Minister Veena George had said earlier on Thursday. The minister said his samples have been collected and sent to the National Institute of Virology for testing. She said the disease could be confirmed only after getting the test results.

Without revealing more details, George said the person showed symptoms of monkeypox and he was in close contact with a monkeypox patient abroad.

The Union Health Ministry on Thursday asked states to increase surveillance on monkeypox, which has been reported in many countries across the world. In a letter to the states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reiterated that there should be a rigorous surveillance system at all points of entry to quickly identify and isolate suspected cases.

"Continued expansion of spread of monkeypox disease globally calls for proactive strengthening and operationalisation of requisite public health actions for preparedness and response against the disease in lndia also," he wrote.

The Union government, in the letter, has said that orientation and regular re-orientation of all key stakeholders including health screening teams at points of entry, disease surveillance teams, and doctors working in hospitals about common signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, case definitions for suspects, probable or confirmed cases should be carried out.

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 subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health.

With IANS inputs

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