Kerala reports suspected monkeypox case, UAE returnee under observation

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Health minister Veena George

Kochi: Health Minister Veena George said that a suspected monkeypox case was reported in the state. A person who arrived from UAE three days ago is currently under observation for suspected monkeypox infection.

"There is no need to panic. The health department had sent the samples of the person to the Pune Virology Institute to confirm monkeypox (Orthopoxvirus) infection. We hope to receive the result by today evening," informed the health minister.

It is confirmed that one of the persons who were in his close contact tested positive for monkeypox. He is currently under observation, 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.

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