An international traveller, who is suspected to have developed symptoms of monkeypox, is under isolation and treatment in Kerala.
Health Minister, Veena George, said here on Thursday, July 14, 2022, that the individual, who reached Kerala from UAE four days ago, subjected himself to treatment after a close contact of his in UAE was confirmed to have contracted monkey pox.
Ms. George said that samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune for confirmation. Results were expected by evening on Thursday.
Ms. George declined to disclose more details about the patient or where he has been isolated. She added that the person’s family is also kept under close observation.
“Treatment is symptomatic and there is no reason for triggering any panic as the infection, unlike COVID-19, spreads only through close contact,’” she said.
However, the Health department, since the last week of May, had been on a general alert against the disease as monkeypox was reported to be spreading fast across Europe and the U.S through international travel.
All districts had been asked to increase disease surveillance and remain alert . Kerala, a State with four international airports and high tourist arrivals, had to be on alert against all new viruses, Health officials said.
Monkeypox appears with general symptoms of flu, including fever and headache. But the disease is often distinguished by the lesions that appear on the face a few days after fever, and which spreads to the body, especially the palms.
The incubation period for the disease — the time from exposure to the virus to then manifestation of symptoms — ranges from five to 21 days.
Transmission happens only through close contact and by touching or sharing the clothes or bedding used by the patient, because the lesions usually have a high viral load. Transmission also extends throughout the course of the illness, till the lesions heal.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to hold an emergency meeting next week to decide whether monkey pox should be declared as a global health emergency. Last reported, a little over 9,000 cases 10,000 cases of the disease has been reported in some 63 countries.