India on Wednesday reported its first case of Monkeypox in Kerala. A traveller who arrived in Kerala three days ago from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was hospitalised after he displayed symptoms of monkeypox. ​Earlier today, the Centre asked states to ensure screening and testing of all suspect cases at points of entry and in the community as part of India’s preparedness against the disease.​​

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The first case of Monkeypox in the country was confirmed in Kerala on Thursday. A 35-year-old man who came from UAE a few days ago has been admitted to Thiruvananthapuram medical college.

While in UAE, the patient was in close contact with a person tested positive to the disease. Health minister Veena George said the patient had close contact with his parents, a taxi driver and an autorickshaw driver.

Apart from this, 11 of his co-passengers in the flight to Kerala and the cabin crew were considered as his close contacts. 

The person reached Thiruvananthapuram airport from UAE and hailed a taxi to travel to his home in nearby Kollam district a few days ago. Since he was in close contact with a person tested positive to the disease in UAE, he sought medical help when start feeling the symptoms.

He first went to a private hospital in Kollam by hiring an autorickshaw and from there he was taken to the medical college for further treatment. His samples were sent to National Virology Institute in Pune which confirmed the disease by Thursday evening. 

“There is no need to panic. According to the patient, he was not in close contact with persons other than his family members and the two drivers. The state health department has already upped its ante against the disease”, the minister said, adding that the patient was treated for the symptoms, following the protocol laid out for the treatment.

“Other than anxiety, the patient is having no other major health problems at this point”, the minister said. His parents have also been isolated and kept under medical observation.

However, the minister appealed to health workers and the public to keep vigil against the disease. 

Those who suspect symptoms should seek immediate medical help. 

Fever, headache, rashes and blisters on the face, inside mouth and other parts of the body are the major symptoms. Since the disease spreads through body fluids, the patients and suspects are supposed to cover their body fully to avoid spreading of the disease. 

Meanwhile, the Union health ministry has rushed a high-level multi-disciplinary team to Kerala to collaborate with the state health authorities in instituting public health measures.