The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on Thursday rushed a high-level multi-disciplinary team to Kerala to collaborate with the State Health Authorities in instituting public health measures in view of the confirmed case of monkeypox in Kollam district of Kerala.
According to a government release, the Central team to Kerala comprises of experts drawn from National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi and senior official from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare along with experts from Regional Office of Health & Family Welfare, Kerala.
The team shall work closely with the State Health Departments and take a stock of on-ground situation and recommend necessary public health interventions. Govt of India is taking proactive steps by monitoring the situation carefully and coordinating with states in case of any such possibility of outbreak occurs, the release added.
Earlier today, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said a person who returned from abroad has tested positive for monkeypox.
She told reporters that his samples were collected and sent to the National Institute of Virology for testing.
The person was in close contact with a monkeypox patient abroad, she added.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 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.
(With PTI inputs)