Kerala records India’s first monkeypox case, Centre rushes team
Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi: Kerala on Thursday recorded India’s first case of monkeypox with state Health Minister Veena George saying that the suspected case has turned positive.
The results has come from the the laboratory of NIV, Pune, she said, adding that strict containment protocols have been followed and there is no need of concern.
The patient, who arrived from the UAE on July 12, was at his house in Kollam.
When he developed the symptoms he was taken to a hospital at Kollam and from there he was shifted to the Trivandrum Medical College hospital where he is under close observation.
George said his parents are also under observation and so are 11 passengers who might have come with close contact with him in the aircraft.
Meanwhile, the authorities have also identified the auto rickshaw and taxi drivers who have carried this patient in their vehicle.
The patient, was identified as a close contact of a person who tested positive for monkeypox, and had been kept under close surveillance since July 12.
“There need be no cause of worry as everything is under control and the incubation period is 21 days. The Health Department is fully geared to handle this,” George said.
The Union Health Ministry on Thursday rushed a high-level multi-disciplinary team to Kerala to collaborate with the state health authorities in instituting public health measures in view of the confirmed case of monkeypox.
The Central team includes experts from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), a doctor from RML Hospital, New Delhi, and a senior official from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare along with experts from its regional office.
The team will take a stock of on-ground situation and recommend necessary public health interventions. The state Health Department will work closely with the central team.
Meanwhile, earlier in day, the ministry asked states to increase surveillance on monkeypox disease which has been reported in many countries across the world. The ministry in a letter said that continued expansion of spread of the disease globally calls for proactive strengthening and operationalisation of requisite public health actions for preparedness and response against the disease in India.
The Centre, in the letter, said that orientation and regular re-orientation of all key stakeholders including health screening teams at points of entry, disease surveillance teams, doctors working in hospitals about common signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, case definitions for suspects, probable or confirmed cases should be carried out.