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Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

Youth who died in Kerala’s Thrissur succumbed to monkeypox, says health dept after NIV confirms

On Sunday, state Health Minister Veena George had revealed that the 22-year-old youth had tested positive for monkeypox in the UAE before he reached Kerala on July 22.

monkeypoxAfter the youth died on Saturday afternoon, his burial was held as per the protocol for the viral infection. All his primary contacts have been placed under observation, officials said. (Representative photo/ File)

The Kerala health department on Monday confirmed that the youth who died in Thrissur on Saturday had succumbed to the West African variant of monkeypox. The confirmation came from the National Institute of Virology in Pune where his samples were tested after an initial confirmation at the institute’s regional unit in Kerala. This is India’s first confirmed monkeypox death and likely the fourth death outside Africa.

On Sunday, state Health Minister Veena George had revealed that the 22-year-old youth had tested positive for monkeypox in the UAE before he reached Kerala on July 22. The government had also ordered a probe into the circumstances that led to the delay in reporting the test result to the health department.

The youth, a native of Punniyoor in Thrissur, died at a private hospital on Saturday, days after he returned from the UAE. The family informed the hospital about the test held in the UAE only on Saturday. The minister had said that the youth had no symptoms of monkeypox, but had been admitted to a hospital with symptoms of encephalitis and fatigue.

Sources in the health department said the youth, who was employed in UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah, reached Kozhikode airport in Kerala on July 22. “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 have come to know that he was told to take rest after reaching home. Till Saturday, the family was not keen to take up the matter with the health department or members of the local village panchayat,” sources said.

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After the youth died on Saturday afternoon, his burial was held as per the protocol for the viral infection. All his primary contacts have been placed under observation, officials said.

India has so far confirmed four monkeypox cases, three of them in Kerala. On Saturday, the first reported case was discharged from hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, while the situation of the other two continued to be stable, the health department said.

Spain on Saturday reported a second death from monkeypox in as many days. These are believed to be the first confirmed fatalities due to the infection in Europe since its recent spread beyond Africa.

First published on: 01-08-2022 at 02:35:24 pm
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