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First monkeypox death in Asia occurs this week in India



The first confirmed death due to monkeypox in Asia occurred on Monday in the state of Kerala in India. It is only the fourth death confirmed worldwide in the current monkeypox outbreak, after two fatalities in Spain last week and one in Brazil.

Monkeypox has spread around the world in recent months, while previous outbreaks had been endemic to Africa, causing the World Health Organisation to declare it a global health emergency on July 23.

The death in India took place on Saturday in Kerala, where a 22 year old man died from the disease. He had arrived in Kerala on July 21 but it wasn’t until July 26 that he started to show symptoms, experiencing fever and fatigue.

But when the man died, his family let authorities know that he had tested positive for monkeypox in the United Arab Emirates before he boarded his flight to India.

At least five other cases of monkeypox have been reported in India, but this is the first fatality. The government has responded by forming a task force to monitor infections within India, comprised of senior officials, according to the Indian Ministry of Health.

The revenue minister of Kerala informed the public that 21 people who had come in contact with the man who died of monkeypox have already been placed in isolation to prevent any further spread in India. Authorities reassured the people of India not to panic as none of those quarantined people have shown any symptoms.

As of the end of July, 78 different countries have reported cases of monkeypox with over 18,000 infections reported worldwide, with Europe having the highest amount of infections. Previously, most cases of monkeypox had been centered around western and central Africa.

The infections spread first from animals to humans and later between humans via bodily fluids, skin lesions, respiratory droplets, contaminated items, and mucosal surfaces like your mouth or throat. The virus is similar to smallpox but less severe and less transmissible.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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