The Centre on Friday issued guidelines to manage monkeypox. It has urged international travellers to avoid close contact with sick persons, and to get in touch with a health facility if they get symptoms such as fever and rashes, ANI reported on Friday

The guidelines come after India’s first case of the disease was detected in Kerala on Thursday.

The Centre advised international passengers to avoid “close contact with sick people, including those with skin lesions or genital lesions”. It also advised travellers to avoid touching contaminated material used by patients, such as clothing, bedding and other items used at healthcare centres.

The health ministry also urged international passengers to avoid contact with wild animals, avoid eating or preparing the meat of wild animals and not to use products derived from wild animals in Africa.

Travellers should see a doctor if they develop monkeypox symptoms, and are in an area where the disease has been reported, or have had contact with a suspected patient, the advisory said.

On Thursday, the Centre also told states and Union Territories to increase their vigil against monkeypox at international entry points, hospitals and other high-risk areas, the Hindustan Times reported.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that suspected patients should be screened and tested at points of entry and in the community. Isolating patients, providing symptomatic and supportive therapy and treatment for complications are among the measures that need to be taken to prevent deaths, he said.

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.

The first case of monkeypox in India 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 monkeypox outbreak that occurred in African countries at 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.