Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Friday directed the district authorities in the state to remain vigilant and create awareness about the Monkeypox disease.
The Minister said the health department has called a special meeting and initiated the necessary precautionary measures.
"Authorities have been asked to remain vigilant as the Monkeypox, which was earlier detected in Africa alone, has begun to spread to other parts of the world. Everyone should have awareness of the disease and preventive measures," the minister said in a statement.
Minister George said the symptoms of Monkeypox are similar to but milder than those of smallpox.
This comes a day after the Union government directed the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to keep a close watch on Monkeypox cases being reported from some countries.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had directed airport and port health officers to be vigilant.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Monkeypox typically manifests in humans with fever, rashes, and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications. Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from two to four weeks.
It can also take a severe form, with the WHO saying the case fatality ratio has been around 3-6 percent in recent times.
The UN health agency has confirmed 80 cases of monkeypox in 11 countries so far. "There are about 80 confirmed cases so far, and 50 pending investigations. More cases are likely to be reported as surveillance expands," it added.
Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.