Asia’s first monkeypox death reported in India

Asia’s first monkeypox death reported in India

Laboratory technicians wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) work at the molecular laboratory facility set up by the Tamil Nadu Ministry of Health to test for the monkeypox virus following four confirmed cases of the disease nationwide (EPA).

Laboratory technicians wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) work at the molecular laboratory facility set up by the Tamil Nadu Ministry of Health to test for the monkeypox virus following four confirmed cases of the disease nationwide (EPA).

India has confirmed its first monkeypox death in the southern state of Kerala.

The 22-year-old man, who had traveled to the United Arab Emirates, died in a private hospital in the city of Thrissur on Saturday, a state government minister confirmed on Monday

The case is Asia’s first death from the disease and the fourth reported death from the disease around the world, Reuters news agency reported.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George confirmed on Monday that his sample was confirmed positive for monkeypox by the Alappuzha Municipal Unit of the country’s National Institute of Virology in Kerala.

Health officials have isolated 20 people identified as high-risk close contacts of the late man. Those people include family members, friends and medical workers who may have come into contact with him, she said.

“A young boy returned from the United Arab Emirates on July 22. He was with his family when he developed a fever on July 26 and was admitted on July 27,” Ms George told reporters.

The patient was put on a ventilator a day later and died on July 30, she said, adding that samples sent to NIV showed he was positive for monkeypox.

A health worker stands at a monkeypox ward set up at a civilian hospital in Ahmedabad, India (AP).

A health worker stands at a monkeypox ward set up at a civilian hospital in Ahmedabad, India (AP).

The Indian labs’ confirmation comes a day after Ms George said reports from the UAE patient had returned positive, but they were only informed of the test result on Saturday.

She promised “a high-level investigation into the death” as the state Department of Health raised doubts about the rare deaths.

“His relatives only handed over the test result on Saturday. A high level inquest into the death would be carried out as monkeypox has a very low mortality rate,” Ms George said.

India first reported its outbreak of monkeypox cases on July 15 after a Middle Eastern man reached the country.

The country has reported a total of four confirmed cases of monkeypox, three of them in Kerala.

This is only the fourth known death from the disease in the current outbreak around the world, after Spain reported two monkeypox-related deaths and Brazil the first.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global health emergency on July 23 after around 78 countries reported more than 18,000 cases of monkeypox, with a majority of the cases originating in Europe.

The WHO has traced the disease to the tropical rainforests of central and western Africa and defines it as a viral zoonosis – meaning it can be transmitted from animals to humans – with the first case being recorded in 1970 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Monkeypox is a rare and relatively mild viral infection. It has an incubation period of six to 16 days. Symptoms include a high temperature, headache, rash, muscle aches, back pain, swollen glands, tremors and fatigue, according to the NHS.

The Indian Ministry of Health has not yet commented on the death. It was previously said the government had set up a task force of senior officials to monitor monkeypox cases in the country after the first cases were reported.

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