India reports Asia's first monkeypox death; 6 confirmed cases in country so far

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadAug 02, 2022 | 09:39

India reports Asia's first monkeypox death; 6 confirmed cases in country so far

India reports first case of monkeypox death, also a first in Asia. Photo: Getty Images

Alarm bells are going off in India after a 22-year-old man died of monkeypox in Kerala, making it the country's and Asia's first such death since the outbreak started in May. Questions like how is it spreading, why did the man die, how to prevent the disease, is there enough treatment, what to do and not do etc are on everyone's minds. 

Here is a look at monkeypox updates from India and around the world:

India's first monkeypox death: 

  1. Kerala confirmed that the 22-year-old man who died on July 30 had monkeypox. His test results came back positive for the disease from NIV-Pune. He had the West African strain of the virus. 
  2. July 19: The man had tested positive for monkeypox in the UAE.
  3. July 22: The man reached Kerala.  
  4. Reportedly, the man did not have any severe symptoms and even went out to play football with friends. 
  5. July 27: The 22-year-old was admitted to a private hospital in Thrissur for encephalitis (inflammation of the brain associated with monkeypox) and fatigue. He reportedly suffered from severe headaches and seizures after returning home from playing football. 
  6. July 30: His parents informed his UAE test results to the hospital on the day he passed away. He was put on life support before he died. 
  7. According to reports, the man was young and energetic and did not suffer from any known co-morbidities. 
  8. Kerala Health Minister Veena George said that the state will conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and also find out why the family delayed seeking treatment and telling the hospital about his UAE test.
  9. 20 people: Categorised as high-risk in the case and are being monitored.
  10. The passengers who were on the same flight as the 22-year-old from UAE to Kerala have been asked to self-monitor themselves. 
  11. The Centre has also formed a task force to closely monitor the monkeypox situation.

Other cases in India: 

  • 6 - Confirmed cases in India
  • 4 - Kerala
  • 2- Delhi  

In the latest, a 35-year-old Nigerian man in Delhi has tested positive for the disease. The other case from Delhi is a 31-year-old man with no travel history. He is said to be in a stable condition. 

All four cases from Kerala had a travel history to the UAE. The first patient of monkeypox in India - reported in Kerala - has made a full recovery and has been discharged from the hospital. The other two patients in the state are also said to be in stable condition. 

An 8-year-old boy who was suspected to have monkeypox in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh tested negative for the disease. 

There are a few other suspected cases of monkeypox reported in India. One has been reported in Rajasthan.

A glimpse at the worldwide statistics for monkeypox (as of July 29, according to the US CDC):

  • 23,620 - Number of monkeypox cases reported in the world 
  • 73 - Countries that have historically not reported monkeypox cases
  • 80 - Countries in total 
  • Ghana reported its first death in the current outbreak on Monday, August 1, 2022.
  • 4 - Deaths reported outside of Africa including India's first death but excluding Ghana's death.
  • 75 - Deaths reported in Africa 
Last updated: August 02, 2022 | 09:39
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