India's first monkeypox case confirmed in Kerala

Tags: National News

A man from Kollam, Kerala, who returned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been confirmed as the first case of monkeypox in India on July 14.

Important facts

  • The person has been isolated for treatment at the Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College Hospital (MCH). 

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this is the first time that cases of monkeypox are being reported in five WHO regions.

What Is Monkeypox?

  • It is a viral zoonotic disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. 

  • Monkeypox virus is an orthopoxvirus similar to smallpox.

  • It has been identified as a smallpox-like disease in monkeys, hence it is called monkeypox.

  • It was first observed in 1958, in monkeys in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and in humans in 1970.

  • The disease outbreak in Nigeria in 2017 was the largest ever.

  • The monkeypox virus mutates at a high rate but is treatable once symptoms appear.

Symptom of disease

  • Fever, intense headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash or lesions.

  • Infected people develop a rash resembling smallpox.

  • In the early stages of the disease, monkeypox and smallpox can be differentiated because the monkeypox lymph gland enlarges.

Transmission of disease

  • It spreads through close face to face, skin to skin and direct contact.

  • The disease can be spread through contact with bodily fluids, sores on the skin or internal mucous surfaces, such as the mouth or throat, respiratory droplets and contaminated objects.

Treatment and Vaccine

  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for monkeypox infection.

  • The anti-smallpox vaccine has been shown to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox.

  • A newer vaccine MVA-BN, developed for Smallpox was approved in 2019 for use in preventing Monkeypox but is not yet widely available.

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