Kerala Health Minister confirms India’s first monkeypox death
1 August, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma
State Health Minister Veena George on Monday confirmed that the test reports of a 22-year-old person with monkeypox symptoms who died on July 30 were found to be positive for the viral zoonotic inf...
State Health Minister Veena George on Monday confirmed that the test reports of a 22-year-old person with monkeypox symptoms who died on July 30 were found to be positive for the viral zoonotic infection.
The youth hailed from Chavakkad Kuranjiyur in Thrissur district tested positive in UAE and died in Kerala on July 30. “On the evening of July 26 he developed abnormal jerking and he had fever too. On July 27 he was admitted and on July 28 he was moved to the ventilator. On July 30 the hospital authorities informed the Health Department that he got tested on July 19 for monkeypox in UAE and the result of which was positive. Our team went there, unfortunately, that person died in the evening. As per our procedure, we had sent the samples to National Institute of Virology (NIV) Alappuzha and test results show that he was positive for monkeypox,” said George.
He was also given antibiotics and treated for Encephalitis, altered seizures, and other disorders.
At the moment, 20 high-risk contacts are being monitored, including three health workers, a doctor, and two nursing staff from a private hospital.
The Health Minister stated that it is unclear whether the family hid the fact that the individual was tested in the UAE.
“We constituted a state-level team including state medical board members to enquire what really has happened. And the genomic sequencing of sample is being done at NIV,” she added.
She further pointed out that on his day of arrival at Calicut Airport he was not showing any symptoms of fever or rashes during the thermal scanning but he had a fever four weeks ago and on July 26 he developed it again.
“A Preliminary report says that it is a West African variant,” she said.
The Minister said that the state Health Department has ensured that every person will undergo thermal scanning at the airport so if the person has a high fever he or she can go to the help desk.
“Thermal scanning at airports is regular and if the person has a high fever, we have a help desk there and health workers will take care. We have isolation facilities in all the 48 districts and transportation facilities will also be arranged,” said George.
She also requested people to take precautions and not to hide the information.
“Currently there are two active cases in the state and all the other persons under observation were tested negative,” she added.
Notably, India has documented five instances of monkeypox thus far, three of them are from Kerala, one from Delhi, and one from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.
Following this, the federal government is on high alert, despite the fact that the number of illnesses in some other nations has increased.