He returned home from Kuwait on July 6 and started to show symptoms on Saturday. As his test results are awaited, health officials have traced six of his contacts and kept them under observation as they do not have any symptoms yet.
The World Health Organisation had declared Monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern. So far, four cases have been confirmed in India, of which three have been detected in Kerala and one in Delhi.
In a statement, Telangana’s Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao said that the Kuwait returnee had high fever on July 20. On July 23, he started to present rashes and approached a private hospital the next day. The doctor diagnosed the symptoms as that of Monkeypox and referred him to Kamareddy district hospital. He was subsequently moved to Hyderabad.
“His samples have been collected and sent to the National Institute of Virology laboratory in Pune. Until the results are received, we will keep him in isolation in the fever hospital and provide treatment. We have identified six people who had direct contact with this person. None of them have any symptoms yet. However, we have isolated them as well,” Dr Rao said, while adding that Health minister T Harish Rao has been reviewing the situation from time to time. Dr Rao also asked the people of the state to not be alarmed as the disease was not life-threatening.
Earlier, Fever Hospital superintendent Dr K Shankar had told indianexpress.com that two isolation wards, one each for male and female patients, were set up for monkeypox patients. “We have arranged for 36 beds and have the requisite staff, equipment and medicines. In case of any suspected patient, we will send samples of urine, blood, throat swabs and scrapping from wounds for tests in Gandhi Hospital. If any are tested positive, those samples will be sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, for confirmation,” he said while stressing that the treatment is symptomatic and a patient will have to be in hospital for 21 days.
Monkeypox, according to the WHO, spreads from person to person through close contact with someone who has a monkeypox rash. Contact with bodily fluids, lesions on the skin or mucosal surfaces, respiratory droplets and contaminated objects including a patient’s clothes or bed sheets can cause a spread of the virus. Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash or lesions on the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, mouth, genitals, perianal area or eyes.
The health department has asked people to be cautious and visit a doctor in case of any symptoms as the incubation period for the virus is two to three weeks. “In case of high fever, rashes on upper and lower limbs, enlargement of lymph nodes in the neck, axilla (armpit) and groin, red eyes, joint pains, weakness, vomiting and have contacted a source with travel history, one should visit a doctor,” Dr Shankar added.