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Monkeypox in India: First case reported in Kerala

The first case of Monkeypox in India has been reported from Kerala. Monkeypox is a zoonotic virus that is usually from animals to humans in different ways. Its symptoms are usually similar to the symptoms of the smallpox virus. After the complete cessation of the smallpox virus in 1980, the monkeypox virus emerged as an orthopoxvirus among the public communities of Central and West Africa.

Different cases of monkeypox were reported in different years but not as an outbreak. Nobody bothered about the presence of these few cases.
But, in May 2022, multiple cases of monkeypox were reported in different countries that are non-endemic. Multiple researchers are still investigating the epidemiology, source, and transmission pathways. Considering the facts, India reported its first confirmed case of monkeypox. The first case of monkeypox in India is reported in Kerala. A 35-year-old man showed symptoms of the monkeypox virus with a history of travel to the Middle East.

A multidisciplinary team was sent to the southern state of Kerala to investigate the confirmed case of monkeypox. The Middle East region has been on red alert for Monkeypox. Countries with a high risk of monkeypox are taking appropriate measures to detect the monkeypox virus. In addition, they are also taking precautionary measures to prevent the transmission or spread of the monkeypox virus from one to another.

How is the Monkeypox virus transmitted from one person to another?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), monkeypox can transmit from infected animals to humans via direct or indirect contact. Whereas, transmission from human to human occurs in different ways. Monkeypox virus can transmit from one person to another through contact with infected skin lesions, face to face, skin to skin, or respiratory droplets.
In countries with monkeypox virus confirmed cases and monkeypox outbreak alerts, the transmission of monkeypox virus occurs through intimate close contact including sexual contact. Moreover, the transmission of Monkeypox in India can also occur through contaminated linens, beddings, clothing, electronics, or any other infected skin particles or materials.

What is the medical condition of the patient suffering from the monkeypox virus?

According to the State’s health minister Veena George, the patient has been isolated at a hospital. In addition, the patient is stable with normal vital signs. Moreover, he asked to be on alert for all districts. He also said the patient’s parents and his primary contacts have been isolated. Moreover, the 11 passengers, who contacted him on his flight, are also asked for symptoms of monkeypox. Protective measures are being taken to stop the transmission of Monkeypox in India.

What are the common signs and symptoms of monkeypox in India?

The incubation period for monkeypox in India varies from 6 to 13 days. It means that this virus can take about 6 to 13 days to manifest its symptoms from the infection time. The infection phase is divided into two periods.

Invasion period – It lasts between 0 to 5 days with symptoms of fever, intense headaches, lymphadenopathy, back pain, myalgia, and intense asthenia (decreased energy). Lymphadenopathy is the diagnostic feature of this disease.

Skin eruptions – after 1 to 3 days of fever, skin rashes tend to appear on different parts of the body. These skin lesions are usually more apparent on the face and extremities. It affects the face in 95% of cases. Whereas, there are different prevalence of skin lesions on different parts of the body.
● Palms of the hands and soles of the feet – 75% of cases
● Oral mucous membranes – 70% of cases
● Genitalia – 30% of cases
● Conjunctiva and cornea – 20% of cases

What kind of rashes appears on the skin with the monkeypox virus?

The skin rashes start appearing in the form of macules. Macules are flat base lesions. These macules further develop to form papules which are raised firm lesions. These papules turn into vesicles filled with clear fluid. Ultimately, these vesicles turn into pustules filled with yellowish fluid or pus. In the limiting stage, these vesicles become dried, forming crusts.
The number of these lesions varies from a few to several thousand skin lesions. There may be multiple smaller lesions joining to form larger lesions, sloughing off the skin. These are a few skin problems that can be seen in the cases of Monkeypox in India.

Monkeypox on Chest

What is the treatment plan for the monkeypox virus?

Usually, the symptoms of the monkeypox virus subside after 2 to 4 weeks. There may be severe cases of monkeypox in India among children depending on the exposure and nature of the complications. Vaccination against smallpox offered a protective barrier in the past for the monkeypox virus too. There is no such probable treatment regimen for the monkeypox virus.
There is no management plan other than the prevention of the monkeypox virus.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How can we prevent monkeypox from spreading?

There are different ways to protect yourself and others from the monkeypox virus. Some of them are as follows:
● Minimizing the contact with infected persons
● Avoid unprotected contact with wild sick or dead animals
● All food containing meat should be properly cooked before eating.

Is there any cure available for the monkeypox virus?

No, there is no such specific treatment available for monkeypox in India or anywhere else. Antiviral drugs may show some efficacy to treat the symptoms of the monkeypox virus. But, there is no such research available.

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