India Sees First Monkeypox Case: Govt Announces 5 Key Steps To Curb The Spread

a vial containing tests for monkeypox first case announced in india

Kerala reported India’s first case of Monkeypox, and the government has now announced measures it will take to curtail the spread of this disease.

On Thursday, India recorded its first case of Monkeypox in Kerala. The case was reported in a traveler from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who arrived in the state on 12 July. Kerala Health Minister Veena George confirmed the case and said that the patient is “quite stable” and that “vitals are normal”.

So far, 11 primary contacts of the patient have been identified, including his parents, the taxi driver who took him from Trivandrum to Kollam, and the passengers on the flight who were next to him.

Shortly after, the Union Health Ministry sent a high-level, multidisciplinary team to Kerala to “collaborate with the state health authorities in instituting public health measures,” said ANI.

The team will include experts from the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr RML Hospital, New Delhi, and a senior official from the Ministry of Health, along with experts from the Regional Office of Health and Family Welfare, Kerala.

What is Monkeypox?

According to the Health Ministry, Monkeypox (MPX) is a viral zoonotic disease with symptoms similar to smallpox, although with less clinical severity. It was first discovered in 1958 in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name.

Symptoms of Monkeypox

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms can include fever; headache; muscle aches and backache; swollen lymph nodes; chills; exhaustion; and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters, and appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.

What steps is the Union Government taking?

The Government has reiterated the steps needed to be taken by states in accordance with the Union Health Ministry’s guidelines. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote the Health Secretaries of all States/UTs.

Here are the steps being taken by the government to ensure fast detection of the virus:

1. Orientation and regular re-orientation of key stakeholders — health screening teams, disease surveillance teams, doctors, etc. It also said that it will carry out contact tracing and other surveillance activities in the detection of a case.

2. Screening and testing of all suspected cases at points of entry, and within the community

3. Isolation of patients, protection of ulcers, supportive therapy, continued monitoring, and timely treatment of complications

4. Intensive risk communication directed at healthcare workers, identified sites in health facilities, as well as the general public, about simple preventive strategies and the need for prompt reporting of cases

5. Identification of hospitals and adequate human resource and logistic support

On 12 July, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that there are 9,200 cases in 63 countries. They plan to convene a second emergency meeting to decide if Monkeypox is a global health threat.

“The Emergency Committee for monkeypox will reconvene next week & look at trends, how effective the counter-measures are and make recommendations for what countries and communities should do to tackle the outbreak,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom, director-general of WHO.

He added, “I again stress that we must work to stop onward #monkeypox transmission and advise governments to implement contact tracing to help track and stem the virus as well as to assist people in isolation.”

Sources

‘India’s first monkeypox case reported in Kerala, Centre rushes high-level team’ by Shalini Bhardwaj for ANI, Published on 14 July, 2022

CDC

Edited by Divya Sethu

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