- 22-year-old man from Kerala, who died with monkeypox 'symptoms', had tested positive in UAE
- She added that he had on July 19 tested positive for the virus
- 20 people who were identified as being at high risk are kept under observation, health minister said
Kerala Monkeypox death: A 22-year-old man from Kerala, who died on Saturday with monkeypox 'symptoms', had tested positive for the virus in UAE over 10 days ago, said state health minister Veena George after a probe was conducted in the matter. She added that he had on July 19 tested positive for the virus.
"He returned to India on July 22. During this time, he stayed with his family. On July 26, the young man developed a fever & was admitted for treatment on July 27," she added. The young man was moved on to a ventilator on July 28. Since he had passed away with symptoms like fever, the state government had launched an investigation into the matter.
"The individual died on July 30. Health dept teams went there, and samples for genomic sequencing were taken to be conducted in NIV. The health department will examine the reasons behind the death of the man," George added.
Test results done after the death of the youth by the NIV also came to the same conclusion that the youth had tested positive on Aug 1st, making it the 1st death of monkeypox in India reported in Kerala.
Here is a 10-point cheatsheet to know everything about India's first monkeypox death:
- According to the relatives of the deceased, they were informed on July 30, the same day the patient died, that his samples taken in UAE had also tested positive.
- “As per the protocol, 20 people who were identified as being at high risk are kept under observation. These include family members, friends and medical staff who might have come in contact with the deceased,” Kerala Health minister Veena George told to the media.
- Many are questioning why was he put in for treatment so late. George said they will also be examining why there was a delay in his hospitalisation after he arrived from the UAE on July 22.
- Notably, India has reported five cases of monkeypox so far, of which three cases are from Kerala, one from Delhi and one from Andhra Pradesh's Guntur.
- Following this, the central government is on an alert even as the count of infections in some other countries has risen.
- The task force has been formed to monitor and provide guidance to the government on the expansion of diagnostic facilities and to explore vaccination for the infection in the country.
- Dr. VK Paul said that there is absolutely no need for any panic as the government has taken significant measures to keep the disease in check.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 18,000 cases have been reported from 78 countries.
- Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. The disease is endemic in regions like West and Central Africa but lately, cases have been reported from non-endemic countries too, according to the WHO.
With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and the subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health.