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Monkeypox comes to India: Centre rushes experts to Kerala

A 35-year-old man who came from the UAE and got admitted in the Thiruvananthapuram medical college hospital in Kerala was confirmed positive for monkeypox by Thursday evening. What is the treatment for monkeypox?

NEW DELHI, July 16: The first case of monkeypox has been detected India. A 35-year-old man who came from the UAE on Tuesday was admitted to a hospital in Kerala with suspected monkeypox. He was confirmed positive for zoonotic infection at the Thiruvananthapuram medical college hospital by Thursday evening.

The Union Health Ministry has sent a team of experts from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to Kerala to coordinate containment programmes.

It is reported that the man came into close contact with an infected person while in the UAE. His suspected contacts In India are the taxi driver and his parents as also co-passengers in the flight to Kerala. He had landed in Thiruvananthapuram and after reaching his native place in the neighbouring district of Kollam he started showing the symptoms of monkeypox and got himself admitted to the medical college back in the State Capital. His condition was stated as "quite stable, with all vitals normal" on Friday.

His sample was tested at the National Institute of Pune and confirmed positive by Thursday evening.

SYMPTOMS of Monkeypox: Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease. Fever, headache, body aches, rashes and blisters like in smallpox on the face, inside mouth and other parts of the body, weaknes and swelling of the lymphnodes (Lymphadenopathy) are the common symptoms of monkeypox. There can also be visual, breathing and urinary problems in the beginning. It is a self-limiting disease with symptoms lasting from two to four weeks. The incubation period can extend up to three weeks, from a few days. The symptoms appear after the incubation period. The hard lesions turn painful and ulcerating and end up in scabs.

What is the treatment for monkeypox

TREATMENT for Monkeypox: There is no specific treatment. and cleaning and dressing for surface ulcers are advised, preferably keeping them uncovered. Long sleeves may be used. The WHO advises warm baths with baking soda. FEVER, HEADACHE: Paracetamol and adequate hydration; SKIN RASH: The rash can be kept clean with sterilised water or antiseptic, Mupironic acid/Fucidin, light dressing; ITCHING: Avoid scratching, Use Calamine lotion; ORAL LESIONS: Saline gargle for oral lesions, lidocaine can be applied to oral and perianal lesions to relieve pain; EYES: Consult Ophthalmologist if there is pain in eye or blurring of vision etc; NAUSEA or VOMITING: Use anti-emetics; GENITAL ULCERS: Sitz bath; DEHYDRATION: Patient should stay hydrated, eat well and get enough sleep. Take ORS or oral fluids in case of dehydration.

COMPLICATIONS of Monkeypox: Complications are pneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis, corneal involvement affecting vision and secondary infections, decrease in urine output, seizures.

TRANSMISSION of Monkeypox: The disease spreads only through body fluids and therefore people are advised not to have person to person physical contact with an infected person, respiratory droplets or fomites like bed, cloth, furniture, utensils, faucets etc used by a patient. Patient isolation is the first layer of management. Isolation to be continued until all lesions have resolved and scabs have completely fallen off. All meat should be thoroughly cooked as it is also spread to humans by rodents and other animals.

The smallpox vaccine is said to give protection against monkeypox also. But the vaccination has been phased out since smallpox has been eradicated.

A few months ago for the first time it was detected outside of Africa in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain.

There are two strains of the virus - the Congo strain is fatal in up to 10 per cent of the patients and the West African strain is milder with a fatality rate of around 1 per cent. It was first found in monkeys and hence the name. It was in 1958. It is spread mostly by rodents.

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