India becomes the first country in Asia to record a death linked to monkeypox

India becomes the first country in Asia to report a death linked to monkeypox

Including the announcement by Indian authorities, nine deaths related to the disease have been reported worldwide since May.

Indian authorities on Monday announced the death of a man infected with monkeypox who had recently returned from the United Arab Emirates, in what could be the first fatal case of the disease in Asia.

The Indian victim died a week after being hospitalized on his return from the United Arab Emirates. It was not yet clear whether the cause of death was monkeypox.

“The young man had no symptoms [of monkeypox]. He was admitted to hospital with symptoms of encephalitis and fatigue.

— Veena George, Minister of Health of Kerala

Twenty people identified as high risk were placed under observation, she said, including relatives, friends and medical personnel who may have had contact with the victim.

< p class="e-p">According to the Kerala Ministry of Health, the family did not notify doctors until July 30, the day of the death, of the results of the test carried out in Dubai on July 19.

A total of 165 passengers were on the same flight as him from the Emirates, but none of them had close contact with the patient , the ministry added.

India has recorded at least four cases of the disease, the first of which was on July 15 in another man who returned to Kerala after a trip to the United Arab Emirates.

This death is the fourth linked to the disease outside Africa.

Sudan announced on Monday that it had detected the first case of monkeypox in the country, in a 16-year-old boy in the state of West Darfur, bordering Chad.

The country's health system, one of the poorest in the world, is fragile: according to UNICEF, only 70% of the 45 million Sudanese have access to a health facility within 30 minutes.< /p>

Sudan suffers from the lack of infrastructure to make drinking water and treat wastewater, factors that favor the transmission of diseases, says the UN body, while 13 of the 18 states in the country experienced episodes of chikungunya, dengue or diphtheria in 2021.

A hospital in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum

A week ago, the Organization World Health Organization (WHO) claimed to have identified 26 cases of monkeypox in five countries in the Arab world.

Since May, monkeypox infections have been on the rise outside West and Central Africa where it was already endemic. So much so that the WHO issued its highest level of alert — Public Health Emergency of International Concern — on July 23 in an attempt to contain the disease.

More than 20,000 cases have been recorded in 78 countries, of which approximately 70% are in Europe and 25% in the Americas.

In total, including India's announcement, nine deaths have been recorded globally since May. The first five were reported in Africa, where the disease is endemic and was first detected in humans in 1970.

Last week, two deaths were reported. been announced in Spain and one in Brazil.

However, it is unclear whether monkeypox was the cause of these deaths. Autopsies are still in progress in Spain, while in Brazil authorities say the deceased patient had other serious pathologies.

The Regional Office of the& #x27;WHO in Europe also predicts an increase in the number of deaths related to monkeypox, even if it stresses that severe complications remain rare and very often the disease is cured by a simple cure. itself, without the need for treatment.

The objective must be to quickly interrupt the transmission of the virus in Europe and put a stop to this outbreak, said Catherine Smallwood, an emergency officer with WHO Europe.

The first symptoms are high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a chickenpox-like rash.

At this time, the WHO points out that there are no vaccines for all my of and therefore recommends prioritizing those most at risk, those who are ill and those caring for them or doing research.

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