Death of young monkeypox suspect baffles health dept

Veena George
Health Minister Veena George. Photo: Screengrab/MMTV

Thiruvananthapuram: Will examine the reasons behind the death of a 22-year-old young man who recently returned from UAE and allegedly died due to monkeypox a day ago, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Sunday.

With the swab results of the deceased patient yet to be reported, the health minister said that the patient was young, and did not suffer from any other illness or health problems and therefore, the health department was looking into the cause of his death.

She said they will also be examining why there was a delay in his hospitalisation after he arrived here from UAE on July 21.

"This particular variant of monkeypox is not as highly virulent or contagious like COVID-19, but it does spread. Comparatively, the mortality rate of this variant is low. Therefore, we will examine why the 22-year-old man died in this particular case as he had no other illness or health problems," the minister told the media.

Since this variant of monkeypox does spread, therefore, all necessary measures have to be taken and have been taken to prevent the same, she added.

The minister also said that there were no studies available about this particular variant from other countries where the disease has been detected and thus, Kerala was carrying out a study on it.

The 22-year-old man died on Saturday morning at a private hospital in Thrissur allegedly due to monkeypox.

According to WHO, monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals), with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.

With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and the subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health.

(With inputs from PTI)

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