First monkeypox patient recovers in Kerala: Health Minister

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The country's first-ever case of monkeypox in Kerala patient, who has fully recovered and will be released later in the day, Kerala's Health Minister Veena George stated on Saturday.

The 35-year-old Kerala native reached in the state from the UAE on July 12 and had tested positive for the virus two days later.

He was sent to a hospital in Kollam when the symptoms first appeared, and from there, he was shifted to the Trivandrum Medical College Hospital where he was kept under monitoring.

All of the samples have now tested negative twice, and the patient has entirely recovered and is doing good, said the health minister. "The entire treatment protocol was developed by the National Institute of Virology, Pune, and samples was taken and analysed at frequent intervals," she added.

Initial concerns were raised over the infected man's close contact with his parents after his arrival, as well as 11 other passengers who had travelled with him.

To ease concerns, health authorities ensured that all contacts were carefully monitored. A task force on monkeypox is apparently being set up in India to advise the government on the expansion of diagnostic resources and investigate new developments in the field of monkeypox vaccine. 

The National Aids Control Organization and Directorate General of Health Services have been urged to develop a sensitive and focused communication plan to encourage prompt reporting, case detection, and case management.

Monkeypox, a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted from animals to humans), has symptoms resembling those once experienced by people with smallpox, though it is clinically less severe, according to the WHO. Monkeypox has replaced smallpox as the most significant orthopox virus for public health since smallpox was eradicated in 1980 and subsequent smallpox vaccinations were discontinued.\

Ms. George said that two further Middle Eastern-born positive cases in the state were doing well and recovering steadily.

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