India Started Preparations For Monkeypox Before First Case In Kerala: Mandaviya In Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya addressed the Rajya Sabha today over the rising cases of monkeypox in India. The Union Minister told the house that India is well prepared to handle the infectious disease and is taking important steps to curb the spread. 

Mandaviya said in Rajya Sabha that the government had already issued guidelines to state before India reported the first case of monkeypox. 

Also Read | Fifth Monkeypox Case In Kerala, Man With Travel History Being Treated In Malappuram

He said, “when cases started appearing in the world, India had already started preparations. Before the first case in Kerala, we had issued guidelines to all the states. We sent an expert team, and helped the state government. Contact tracing was done.”

He further added, “Monkeypox is not a new disease in India and in the world, since 1970 a lot of cases are being seen from Africa. WHO has paid special attention to this. Monitoring has started in India too.”

Meanwhile, India reported the fifth case of the virus from the southern state. A 30-year-old man, who came to Kerala from UAE last month, has tested positive for monkeypox/

Health Minister Veena George on Tuesday said the man had arrived at the Calicut Airport on July 27 and was undergoing treatment at a hospital in the Malappuram district.

The first case of monkeypox, a rare but potentially serious viral illness, was reported in Kollam district on July 14 and the patient was discharged from the hospital last week.

The second confirmed case of the infection was reported in Kannur district on July 18 and the third case was reported in neighbouring Malappuram on July 22.

All of them tested positive for the disease and had arrived in Kerala from abroad.

The Kerala government, on Monday, confirmed that the 22-year-old man, who died on July 30, tested positive for monkeypox making the fatality the first such one in the country.

According to the World Health Organisation, monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals), with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.

With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health.