India reports second monkeypox case from Kerala

A 31-year-old male has been infected with the virus


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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Published: Mon 18 Jul 2022, 5:37 PM

India reported the second confirmed monkeypox case in Kannur district on Monday, confirmed officials from Union Health Ministry and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

As per the Kerala Health minister's office, a 31-year-old male has been infected with the virus. He is currently undergoing treatment in Pariyaram Medical College, Kannur. "The patient's health condition is reported to be satisfactory," said Kerala Health Minister Veena George.

A multidisciplinary central team of officials has already been deployed by the Union Health Ministry. Those in close contact with him have been put under surveillance, the minister added.

Earlier on July 14, India reported its first monkeypox case involving an NRI from Kerala.

The Union Health Ministry on Friday released new guidelines for the management of the monkeypox disease. The ministry listed out points for the general masses to avoid the contraction of the disease. These included avoiding contact with dead or wild animals, such as rodents and monkeys.

An official explained to ANI that there was no need to panic, as fresh guidelines had been issued to all states and union territories. "It [monkeypox] spreads through close contact with lesions, body fluids, prolonged contact with respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding."

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan cited the letter sent by the ministry on May 31, in which it had issued a comprehensive 'Guidelines for Management of Monkeypox Disease'.

He asked all the states and union territories to take vital actions, such as the orientation and regular re-orientation of all key stakeholders, including health screening teams at points of entries (PoEs), disease surveillance teams and doctors working in hospitals.

He further asked to screen and test all suspect cases at points of entry and in the community. "Patient isolation (until all lesions have resolved and scabs have completely fallen off), protection of ulcers, symptomatic and supportive therapies, continued monitoring and timely treatment of complications remain the key measures to prevent mortality," the Health Minister added.

He said that the intensive risk communication directed at healthcare workers, as well as the general public, about simple preventive strategies and the need for prompt reporting of cases.

According to Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia, the region has been on alert for monkeypox.

"Countries have been taking measures to rapidly detect and take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of monkeypox… WHO has been supporting member countries in the region to assess the risk for monkeypox and strengthen their capacities to prepare and respond to the evolving multi-country outbreak," she said.


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