No need to panic over monkeypox, have taken steps to curb it: Kerala govt

Home » No need to panic over monkeypox, have taken steps to curb it: Kerala govt
No need to panic over monkeypox, have taken steps to curb it: Kerala govt

With reporting the first case of monkeypox in India, the state government and health experts are of the opinion that there is no need to panic as of now and the state has already taken adequate steps to minimise its spread.

Health experts are of the opinion that the disease isn’t as fatal as Covid. According to data available with the World Health Organisation, of the 3,413 monkeypox cases detected in 50 countries till June end, only one death has been reported in Nigeria. The United Kingdom reported the maximum number of cases, at 793, followed by Germany (521).

According to a government source, 15-20 people are already under observation, including 11 travelled along with an infected person on a flight from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Thiruvananthapuram on July 12. After coming in contact with an infected person, the incubation period is around 21 days. Arvind Kumar Achra, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology at Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya Hospital, Delhi, was part of the Union government’s high-level multidisciplinary team sent to to monitor monkeypox, told Business Standard that though not contagious like Covid, one cause of worry is that the virus transmits through multiple modes.

Also Read: What is Monkeypox

“It is unlikely to have break out beyond the current case, as the state has already taken all precautionary measures. Unlike Covid, the possibility of mutation is lower too,” said Anish T S, a member of the Covid management committee in and assistant professor, Department of Community Medicine, Thiruvananthapuram. The infected person was first admitted to a private hospital in Kollam and later shifted to Thiruvananthapuram medical college. Kerala health minister Veena George had said on Thursday that there is nothing to worry about the virus and the affected patient is stable.

Kerala had seen the first three cases of Covid-19 too, when three Indian medical students returning from Wuhan were infected on January 30, 2020. On May 19, 2018, Kerala had also reported the first case of Nipah virus in South India on May 19, 2018.

Experts say the reason such diseases are getting detected first in Kerala is probably because of its better surveillance, higher density of non-resident India population and the quality of human resources in the medical field. “Awareness among people is higher in Kerala and the system is sensitive to such diseases. Moreover, out of the NRI population, a large quantity may be working in the healthcare sector abroad, unlike other states. These are the reasons why such diseases get identified easily in Kerala,” Anish said.

“This is not like Covid. Only people with close contact get affected. Another major advantage is that it is not (as) fatal. We should be cautious and people with comorbidities should take extra care,” said Samuel Koshy, president, Indian Medical Association, Kerala.

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