India records first death from Monkeypox

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A Kerala youth who died in Thrissur on Saturday had tested positive for monkeypox abroad, quoting state Health Minister Veena George The Indian Express reported.

The 22-year-old youth, a native of Punniyoor in Thrissur, died at a private hospital in Thrissur, days after he returned from the UAE. The government said that while the results of the test done in the UAE confirmed the presence of the monkeypox virus, a probe would be conducted to ascertain the cause of death.

“The youth had no symptoms of monkeypox. He had been admitted to a hospital with symptoms of encephalitis and fatigue. His relatives handed over the test result only on Saturday. A high-level probe would be held into the death as monkeypox has a very low fatality rate,’’ said the minister, as per the report.

The state health department has sent his samples to the National Institute of Virology’s Alappuzha unit in Kerala.

Sources in the health department said the youth, who was employed at Ras al-Khaimah in the UAE, reached Kozhikode airport in Kerala on 22 July.

“He had been active after reaching home. He played football at a local ground. On July 26, he developed a fever and sought treatment at a local hospital, Later, he was shifted to another hospital, where he was put on life support. He said he had got tested in the UAE before boarding the flight to Kerala. After his death, we came to know that he was told to take a rest after reaching home. Until Saturday, the family was not keen on taking up the matter with the health department or the local village panchayat,” sources said.

After the youth died Saturday afternoon, as per the report, his burial was held as per the protocol for the disease. All his primary contacts have been put under observation.

India has so far had four confirmed monkeypox cases, three of them in Kerala. The patient who had the first reported case was discharged from the hospital on Saturday.

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