Updated: Tue, 02 Aug 2022 01:08 PM IST
Kerala on Tuesday reported its fifth monkeypox case after a 30-year-old who recently returned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was found infected with the virus. The man, who landed at the Kozhikode airport on July 27, is currently undergoing treatment at the Manjeri Medical College in Malappuram, said Kerala Health Minister Veena George.
With this, India's monkeypox tally has increased to seven - five from Kerala and two from Delhi.
Kerala had also reported India's first monkeypox death on Monday after samples of 22-year-old suspected patient were found positive for the viral zoonotic infection. The man, hailing from Chavakkad Kuranjiyur in Thrissur, had returned from the UAE recently.
"On July 30 the hospital authorities informed the Health Department that he got tested on July 19 for monkeypox in UAE and the result of which was positive. Our team went there, unfortunately, that person died in the evening. As per our procedure, we had sent the samples to National Institute of Virology (NIV) Alappuzha and test results show that he was positive for monkeypox," George had said.
Following the Kerala man's death, health experts have advised that it's time for the country to strengthen the surveillance to avoid silent transmission of monkeypox, warning about the complications of the infection.
"Screening is important, otherwise, the silent transmission can spread and then people will come with complications. All countries have to take action and share data with important information," Dr PS Indu, Professor and Head of Department of Community Medicine at Government Medical College in Kollam, told news agency ANI.
Explaining about the complications of the virus, Dr Indu said monkeypox can "create issues like infection in the mouth, cavity, rashes that you see in the face, lymphadenopathy, lesions on palms and soles".
"The secondary infections are dermatology complications and central nervous system complications which can result in mortality death. And other issues that affect the brain. Encephalitis is an infection of the brain," she said.
"We need to continue to wear masks and avoid face-to-face and skin-to-skin contact with people who are not aware of their potential symptoms," she added.