India's First Monkeypox Case In Kerala, Centre Rushes High-Level Team

Veena Georg, state health minister of Kerala said today that monkeypox was found in a returnee from the UAE. He landed at the Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 12 and is “quite stable, with all vitals normal”, she said.

The central government has sent a team, which has experts from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to assist the state.

“There’s nothing to be concerned about. The state minister said that all the necessary steps were being taken to ensure the patient’s safety. She did not give any further details about the patient. She said his primary contacts have been identified — his father, mother, a taxi driver, an auto driver, and 11 fellow passengers from adjacent seats. She said that the symptoms of monkeypox are common in “a person returning from abroad”. The National Institute of Virology received his samples. 

The central government also wrote earlier to the states in order to encourage them to be cautious. Concerned over cases in Europe and America — monkeypox is rarely reported outside Africa — the government had in May issued guidelines about isolation and contact-tracing.   

The virus can cause fever and bumpy skin reactions. Although it is possible to manage the symptoms, one strain is much more serious. Up to 10% of patients can die from the Congo strain. It is less severe and has an approximately 1% fatality rate.