A 31-year-old Nigerian national living in Delhi tested positive for monkeypox Tuesday, taking the city’s tally to three and the national count to eight. Two of the three people from Nigeria, who were admitted to Delhi’s Lok Nayak hospital Sunday and Monday, have tested positive for monkeypox so far.
“Eight cases (of monkeypox) have been detected in the country so far, of which five have a history of foreign travel. They have travelled from Dubai or Sharjah,” said Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Parliament Tuesday.
The fresh case in Delhi comes on a day when Delhi’s first case — a 34-year-old man from West Delhi’s Paschim Vihar — was discharged from the hospital after his lesions healed.
A 35-year-old Nigerian national, living in Delhi for over a year, tested positive for the infection Monday. Both the Nigerian nationals who tested positive for the infection worked at restaurants in the city, said officials.
The country has reported eight cases of the infection so far – five from Kerala, all of whom had a history of travel from UAE and three from Delhi with no travel history.
He added, “But, we are seeing, and have seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, that even after thermal screening, some people go undetected and enter the country because they take paracetamols. We have written to the Dubai government asking them to conduct tracing and share the reports with us as well so that we can monitor them.”
The Indian Express had previously reported that the Centre was in touch with Dubai authorities to ascertain how the 22-year-old, who died of monkeypox in Kerala, was able to board a flight despite already having tested positive for the infection.
The Centre has set up a task force led by NITI Aayog member (health) Dr V K Paul to monitor the situation of the viral infection in the country. The task force includes secretaries from the health ministry, pharmaceutical and biotechnology departments.
Monkeypox is a self-limiting viral infection that is transmitted by close skin-to-skin, mouth-to-mouth or sexual contact with a person having pox-like lesions. It can also be transmitted through infected materials such as linens. Big respiratory droplets are also known to affect if a person has prolonged close contact with an infected person.
The most common symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy and swollen lymph nodes, along with pox-like rashes that last for two to three weeks. It is a self-limiting disease but can lead to death, especially among children and those with weak immune systems. Complications of the infection include pneumonia, secondary skin infections, confusion and eye problems.