Kerala on Thursday detected the first case of monkeypox in India, reported PTI.

The infection was found in a person who returned to Kerala from the United Arab Emirates on July 12, and was hospitalised after showing signs of the disease, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said. The patient’s samples had been sent to the National Institute of Virology.

Monkeypox is a rare infection that is mainly spread by wild animals like rodents and primates in parts of West or Central Africa, according to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.

The disease causes a mild illness and can result in symptoms such as high temperature, headache, backache and a chickenpox-like rash. The infection can spread if a person touches monkeypox skin blisters or uses clothing, bed sheets or towels of those suffering from the disease.

An outbreak of the disease that started in the African countries in the beginning of this year, has spread to several European and West Asian countries. In a bulletin released on July 6, the World Health Organization said that 6,027 cases of the disease have been detected in 59 countries since January 1.

Three patients have died due to the infection.

On Thursday, George told reporters that the patient in Kerala was stable and all his vital signs were normal, reported ANI.

“The primary contacts are identified – his father, mother, taxi driver, auto driver, and 11 passengers of the same flight who were in adjacent seats,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Centre has sent a team to Kerala in view of the outbreak, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Affairs said in a statement. The team comprises of experts from the National Center for Disease Control, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and senior officials from the central and the state health ministry.

“The team shall work closely with the State Health Departments and take a stock of on-ground situation and recommend necessary public health interventions,” the health ministry said. “The government of India is taking proactive steps by monitoring the situation carefully and coordinating with states in case of any such possibility of outbreak occurs.”