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The monkeypox virus is a member of the same virus family as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms can be similar to smallpox, but are milder and rarely fatal. Monkeypox does not have a connection to chickenpox.
India reported its first monkeypox case on Thursday. A Keralite returning from the UAE tested positive for the virus. The Centre rushed to establish a multi-disciplinary high-level team with State Health Authorities to implement public health measures.
Veena George, Health Minister, said that the case was confirmed by the testing of the samples of symptomatic persons at the National Institute of Virology in Pune.India’s first confirmed case of the virus was reported by the Centre on the same day that it asked all states to ensure screening of all suspected cases at entry points and testing in the community. This was part of India’s preparedness for the disease. She said that all samples from infected people have been confirmed positive.
This confirms the first case of this rare virus in the country. Minister said that all measures were taken to stop the disease spreading, and there is no reason for concern. Pinarayi Vijayan the Chief Minister, stated in a statement that there is no reason to be concerned at present. He also said that, just as covid-19 spread was stopped, monkeypox could be contained. Vijayan said that the patient was placed in isolation when he started showing symptoms of the disease. All those who came in contact with him are being closely monitored.
Representative image : monkeypox symptoms
The man, who hails from Kollam, arrived in the UAE from July 12, and all of his close contacts were identified, minister said. PTI was told by a source from the health ministry that he had been in close contact with five people, including his family members and a taxi driver and auto driver.
The source stated that he also had 13 primary contacts during the flight, and they were also identified. Minister said that the minister had also informed the cabin crew about the matter. She stated that the man had been to a private hospital in Kollam after he reached his home in Kollam. The doctors suspected that he had monkeypox and referred him to the Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. George stated that his samples were taken and sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for testing. Everyone was advised by the Health department to be vigilant and cautious.
A Press Information Bureau release stated that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will send a multi-disciplinary team to Kerala in order to work with the State Health Authorities to implement public health measures to address the confirmed case of monkeypox at Kollam district.
According to the release, the central team will include experts from Dr. RML Hospital in New Delhi, National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), and a Senior Official from the Ministry of Health. They will also be joined by experts from Kerala’s Regional Office of Health and Family Welfare.
“The team shall work closely with the State Health Department and take stock of on-ground situations and recommend necessary public health interventions. The Government of India is taking proactive steps by monitoring the situation carefully and coordinating with states in case of any such possibility of outbreak,” it said.
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.