Kerala confirms first death case of Monkeypox Virus in India

The cause of death of a 22-year-old man in Thrissur district has been confirmed as a monkeypox virus infection. This is the first monkeypox death in the country. Alappuzha Institute of Virology had already confirmed the cause of death, and later the sample was sent to Pune to confirm the same. 

Kerala health minister Veena George said that the man had tested positive in a “foreign country.”  As per media reports, the was diagnosed with the infection in the United Arab Emirates and landed in India on July 22. He was admitted to a hospital in the state for ‘fatigue and encephalitis’. 

Punnayur panchayat of Thrissur is on high alert in connection with the death of a person with confirmed monkeypox. A defense campaign will be held in wards six and eight of the Punnayur panchayat in the coming days. The medical team has decided to visit the houses and directly create awareness.

On the 19th July, the young man, a native of Kurathiyur, was examined for the Monkeypox virus. The young man had no symptoms. However, his health deteriorated.  The result of the sample sent to NIV for detailed examination will be out soon.

Meanwhile, a case of monkeypox had been detected in Delhi as well. However, the situation was a bit different. In Delhi, the patient had no history of foreign travel. In Kerala, there was more than 1 monkeypox detected case recently. All the cases in Kerala, including the one in which the infected person died, were in individuals who arrived in the state from the Middle East. 

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Moreover, the Union government issued guidelines for the management of disease on May 21. The government has not recommended the vaccination of contacts of the confirmed cases, yet, as the US has. The WHO has advised countries to call meetings of their respective technical advisory groups on vaccination to discuss local requirements on inoculation. In India, experts have also advised the government to think about giving jabs to the contacts of the confirmed cases.