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India reports Asia’s first possible monkeypox death

#India #reports #Asias #monkeypox #death

Indian authorities on Monday reported Asia’s first possible death from monkeypox after the death of a man who recently returned from the United Arab Emirates and tested positive.

The Kerala State Department of Health said tests on the 22-year-old “showed the man had monkeypox”.

So far, three monkeypox-related deaths have been reported outside of Africa in an outbreak that the World Health Organization has declared a global public health emergency.

The Indian man died in Kerala on July 30, about a week after returning from the United Arab Emirates and being taken to hospital.

However, it was unclear if monkeypox was the cause of death.

“The youth had no symptoms of monkeypox. He had been taken to hospital with symptoms of encephalitis and fatigue,” Indian Express daily quoted Kerala’s Health Minister Veena George as saying on Sunday.

Twenty people at high risk of infection were being kept under surveillance, she added, including family members, friends who played soccer with the man and medical staff.

– 18,000 cases –

According to the WHO, since the beginning of May more than 18,000 cases of monkeypox have been detected worldwide outside of Africa, most of them in Europe.

Spain recorded two monkeypox-related deaths and Brazil one last week.

But it’s unclear if monkeypox actually caused the three deaths, as Spanish authorities are still conducting autopsies on Sunday and Brazilian authorities say the patient who died had other “serious conditions”.

The WHO Europe office said on Saturday that more monkeypox-related deaths could be expected.

“As monkeypox continues to spread in Europe, we anticipate further deaths,” said Catherine Smallwood, senior emergency officer at WHO Europe, in a statement.

The goal must be to “quickly interrupt transmission in Europe and stop this outbreak,” she said.

– nobody’s fault –

India has reported at least four cases, with the first recorded on July 15 in another man who had returned to Kerala from the United Arab Emirates.

Kerala’s health ministry said in its statement on Monday that a senior team from the state medical association would investigate the death.

Primary testing by the National Institute of Virology in the city of Pune showed the man had the West African variant and that further genetic testing was being carried out.

“The disease is nobody’s fault. Anyone who has symptoms should inform the health department so that the spread can be contained,” the ministry said, adding that there was “no reason to panic”.

It added that the man’s family only informed doctors on July 30 of the results of tests carried out in Dubai on July 19, when he was in critical condition at the time.

It added that 165 passengers were on the same flight from the United Arab Emirates but that “no one is a close contact”.

– rash –

Monkeypox, so named because it was first discovered in a monkey, is related to the deadly smallpox virus that was eradicated in 1980 but is far less serious.

Early signs of the disease include a high fever, swollen lymph glands, and a chickenpox-like rash.

In May 2022, a spate of cases among people with no travel connections to the region was detected in countries outside Africa.

The WHO last month declared the outbreak a global health emergency — the highest alert it can raise.

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