India confirms first case of monkeypox in man from Kerala

Patient, 35, is stable and under observation in isolation

India has recorded its first case of monkeypox, as a man, 35, from Kerala is infected. AP
Powered by automated translation

The Indian government sent a multi-disciplinary team to the southern state of Kerala on Friday after a 35-year-old man tested positive for monkeypox, the country's first case.

The man from Kollam district had arrived from overseas on July 12 and was confirmed infected after his samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology.

He has been placed under observation in isolation at the Government Medical College in state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

Kerala’s Health Minister Veena George said the patient was stable and there was nothing to “worry about”.

"All the steps according to the guidelines of WHO [World Health Organisation] and Indian Council of Medical Research are being taken,” she said.

She said the man's parents, the driver of the taxi that had taken him from the airport and 11 flight passengers from adjacent seats had been identified and were under observation.

Monkeypox is a viral disease that originates in wild animals such as rodents and primates and occasionally infects people.

It belongs to the same virus family as smallpox, although with less clinical severity.

The WHO says it is transmitted from one person to another by close contact, including through bodily fluids and respiratory droplets.

Symptoms last for two to four weeks. While severe cases can occur, in recent times the case death ratio has been 3 per cent to 6 per cent.

The WHO estimates that thousands of monkeypox infections break out in about a dozen African countries every year.

Monkeypox: everything you need to know

Monkeypox: everything you need to know

Since January, many cases of the viral disease have been reported from at least 50 countries, although the WHO last month said it was not yet a global health emergency.

Meanwhile, the Indian Central Health Ministry has ensured the government was monitoring the situation “carefully” and co-ordinating with states in case of a “possibility of outbreak”.

The multi-disciplinary team comprises experts and senior doctors and will collaborate with state health authorities in recommending necessary public health interventions, the ministry said.

Kerala became the first state in India with a confirmed case of Covid-19 in January 2020, after a medical student at Wuhan University fled the Chinese city during its coronavirus outbreak.

Updated: July 15, 2022, 7:24 AM