Thiruvananthapuram: A Keralite, who was India’s first monkeypox patient and was being treated at the Government Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram, has recovered from the disease, state Health Minister Veena George said on Saturday. The 35-year old, hailing from Kollam, would be discharged later in the day, she said.
As it was the first case of monkeypox in the country, tests were conducted twice at an interval of 72 hours as per the instructions of the National Institute of Virology (NIV), she said. ‘All samples were negative twice. The patient is physically and mentally healthy. The skin bumps are completely cured. He will be discharged today’, the minister added. The minister also said the test results of his family members, who were in the primary contact list with him, are also negative. At present, the health condition of two other persons, who had also tested positive for the infection, remains satisfactory, the minister said, adding prevention and surveillance measures would be continued with the same vigour.
The Kollam native, who had returned to Kerala from abroad and was hospitalised after showing symptoms of monkeypox, tested positive for the disease on July 14. According to 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.