India to probe first possible death from monkeypox

India to probe first possible death from monkeypox
A 22-year-old man who had recently returned to India from the UAE died in a hospital on Saturday, days after he had tested positive for monkeypox.
2 min read
01 August, 2022
If confirmed, this could be the first death in India from the virus [Getty]

A 22-year-old Indian man who died in the southern state of Kerala had tested positive for monkeypox in the UAE a day before he returned home, according to health officials.

If confirmed, it could be Asia's first recorded death from the global outbreak. 

"The youth had no symptoms of monkeypox," said Kerala's Health Minister Veena George, as quoted in The Indian Express.

"He had been admitted to a hospital with symptoms of encephalitis and fatigue. His relatives handed over the test result only on Saturday. A high-level probe would be held into the death as monkeypox has a very low fatality rate,"’ she added. 

There have been five confirmed cases of monkeypox in India, three of which are in Kerala. The patient who first exhibited signs of the disease was discharged from hospital on Saturday. 

Monkeypox is a viral disease that causes fever, swellings, and a rash that spreads most commonly across the hands and feet. It usually clears up on its own in the first few weeks.

The rapid increase in the number of cases around the world however has prompted the World Health Organisation to declare it a public health emergency of international concern. There are more than 22,000 cases around the world, at least six of which have resulted in deaths.