KERALA: On Monday, India confirmed Asia’s first death caused by the Monkeypox virus in the country’s southern state of Kerala.
The fatality marks Asia’s first and the world’s fourth monkeypox death since the disease’s outbreak.
Kerala’s revenue minister K. Rajan told media that the patient had died on Saturday and the government has taken all precautionary measures and has isolated 21 people who were in physical contact with the deceased prior to his departure.
The revenue minister revealed that the deceased had arrived in Kerala on July 21, but did not consult a health professional until July 26 when his symptoms became severe. Mr. Rajan assured the general public that the country has no reason to panic as those in contact with him are not showing any symptoms so far.
India’s health ministry made no comment on the incident aside from stating that the government had formed a task force of senior officials to monitor the monkeypox outbreak in the country.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), 78 countries around the world have reported 18,000 cases of the disease so far, with most of them being from Europe.
The WHO had earlier said that monkeypox has less severe symptoms as compared to smallpox and the disease is primarily found in people of west and central Africa. The WHO added that the monkeypox disease is transmitted from animals into humans.
A chance of contracting the virus through human-to-human transmission is when a person has made contact with bodily fluids, lesions on the skin or on internal mucosal surfaces i.e. the mouth or throat, contaminated objects and respiratory droplets.