A 30 year-old man, who came to Kerala from UAE last month, has tested positive for monkeypox, making him the fifth case of the virus from the southern state. Health Minister Veena George on Tuesday said the man had arrived at the Calicut Airport on July 27 and was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Malappuram district. His health condition is stable, she said. Those who were in close contact with him, including his parents, are being closely monitored. It is the fifth case of Monkeypox reported in the state, she said.
The first case of monkeypox, a rare but potentially serious viral illness, was reported from Kollam district on July 14 and the patient was discharged from the hospital last week. The second confirmed case of the infection was reported in Kannur district on July 18 and the third case was reported in neighbouring Malappuram on July 22.All of them, tested positive for the disease, had arrived in Kerala from abroad.
The Kerala government, on Monday, had confirmed that the 22-year-old man, who died on July 30, tested positive for monkeypox making the fatality the first such one in the country. According to the World Health Organisation, 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.