Kerala initiates probe into death of youth with monkeypox symptoms

Published on Jul 31, 2022 10:08 PM IST

Monkeypox: Kerala's health minister Veena George said the youth hailed from Chavakkad Kuranjiyur in Thrissur district and had tested positive for the viral disease in a foreign country, adding the delay in seeking treatment will be investigated.

Representational image.(AFP)
Representational image.(AFP)

The Kerala health department initiated a high-level investigation into the death of a man in the southern state due to suspected monkeypox disease. If confirmed, this would be the first death linked to the zoonotic disease in the country.

Kerala's health minister Veena George said the youth hailed from Chavakkad Kuranjiyur in Thrissur district and had tested positive for the viral disease in a foreign country. She added the delay in seeking treatment will be investigated.

"The result of the test conducted in the foreign country was positive. He sought treatment in Thrissur due to severe fatigue and encephalitis. Monkeypox is not a fatal disease," George was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

A meeting will be held at Punnayur in Thrissur will be held in this regard.

George further said a contact list and route map of the deceased youth is being prepared and those who came in his contact are being asked to to undergo isolation.

India has so far reported five cases of monkeypox so far, of which three cases are from Kerala, one is from Delhi and one from Andhra Pradesh's Guntur.

Soon after, the central government issued an alert and urged states to remain cautious. NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul said there is absolutely no need for any panic as the government has taken significant measures to keep the disease in check.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 18,000 cases have been reported from 78 countries.

"The monkeypox outbreak can be stopped if countries, communities and individuals inform themselves, take the risks seriously, and take the steps needed to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups," said WHO director general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.

Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease belonging to the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. The disease is endemic in regions like West and Central Africa but lately, cases have been reported from non-endemic countries too, including Australia, UK and US.

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