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In a new development, India's first monkeypox case has been reported from Kerala. The patient travelled from UAE and reached the state on 12 July. Kerala Health Minister Veena George noted that “All the steps are being taken as per the guidelines issued by WHO and ICMR".

As per the health ministry, the patient is quite stable, and all the vitals are normal. “The primary contacts are identified - his father, mother, taxi driver, auto driver, and 11 passengers of the same flight who were in adjacent seats," it said as quoted by ANI.

Meanwhile, the Centre said it will deploy a multi-disciplinary Central team to support Kerala government in probing the outbreak and instituting requisite health measures.

“In view of report of confirmation of a case of Monkeypox disease from Kollam district, Kerala, it has been decided to depute the following multi-disciplinary Central Team to support State Goverment of Kerala in investigating the outbreak and institute requisite public health measures" an official statement read.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that it will hold an emergency meeting next week to assess if monkeypox should be declared a global emergency. Last month, the agency said the outbreak did not yet warrant the declaration but said it would review issues such as the possibility that monkeypox might be infecting more vulnerable populations like children, and whether the virus is causing more severe disease.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox virus?

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that rarely spreads between people. UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said, “it is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals."

Some of the common symptoms include - muscle aches, backache, headache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion are said to be among the key symptoms.

The initial phase of the illness lasts for about 5 days.“Patients may experience a combination of fever and/or chills, lymphadenopathy, headache, myalgia, backache and exhaustion. Fever is present in most, but not all patients."

In the second phase, a rash appears. According to the WHO, it is believed to be concentrated on the face in 95% of the cases.

(With inputs from agencies)

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