Kerala health officials baffled as man suspected of contracting monkeypox dies | Latest India News

The 22-year-old man who died in Thrissur on Saturday had tested positive for monkeypox in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Sunday, adding that the government would only confirm it. after getting the swab results from the National Institute of Virology (NIV).

With this, shocking shortcomings were revealed and the Ministry of Health ordered an investigation into them. The minister said relatives of the deceased were not informed of the UAE medical report until after his death on Saturday. She said he came to the country on July 22 and was admitted to a private hospital five days later after developing a high fever.

“We are going to ask how he got out of the airport and deleted his health details like this. We have prepared a detailed roadmap of the deceased and many people have already been quarantined,” she said, adding that she called an emergency meeting of health officials in Thrissur on Monday.

“Monkey pox is not a fatal disease. We need to find out how the death took place. We will also look into why there was a delay in hospitalization,” the minister said, adding that doctors had told her he was also suffering from other ailments. “The strain identified here is not that virulent, but it is spreading rapidly. As the spread of the infection is fast, we need to take precautions,” she said.

One of his relatives, who preferred not to be named, said he arrived at Kozhikode airport in the early hours of July 22 and three of his friends received him. He traveled to many places over the next three days and even played football, he said. He reportedly told his mother and sister about his test in the UAE only after his condition deteriorated. He was first admitted to a private hospital in Chavakkad and later transferred to another hospital in Thrissur after his condition deteriorated, he said.

A senior Kozhikode airport official said it was really disconcerting how he skipped the drug test and the heat test at the airport. After the first case of monkeypox was reported in the country on July 12, also a returnee from the United Arab Emirates in Kollam, South Kerala, screening of passengers at the four airports has been intensified. He said some people take pills to suppress body temperature.

Doctors who treated the deceased said his symptoms were similar to those of monkeypox. “There were no red marks or blisters when he was admitted. But later such symptoms began to appear on her body. Since he is from the high-risk United Arab Emirates, he was admitted to an isolation ward from day one,” said a doctor who treated him.

Experts said that the monkeypox virus mutates at a higher rate, but it can be treated after observing the symptoms closely. They said the infection starts with fever, headache and flu. As the infection progresses, sharp red lesions appear on the body and trigger itching like chickenpox. They said the incubation period for the virus ranges from five to 21 days.

“It’s not lethal, but the only problem is that it has a high mutation rate. We need to find out how this young man died. The human-to-human infection rate is also not as high as that of Covid-19. Only those who come in close contact with infected people can be transmitted,” said Dr. NM Arun, an expert in internal medicine and public health.

“Isolation is essential to contain the disease and everyone who comes into contact with patients will need to exercise extreme caution. In some African countries there are reports that it is also spreading through animal meat, we must so make sure the meat is cooked properly,” said Dr K Bindu, community medicine expert from Kozhikode Medical College.

Experts like them have said that transmission only occurs through close contact, such as touching or sharing the cloth, towel or sheets used by infected people, because the secretion from the lesions carries a high viral load. Sexual contact with infected people will also transmit and transmission may occur until the lesions heal and the final stages of healing are essential for transmission, like other smallpox diseases. Experts have said that the smallpox vaccine is very effective in containing the disease, while the vaccine was discontinued after many countries eradicated it, some Western countries have taken it back from emergency stocks in laboratories . Last week, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency following the outbreak of monkeypox reported in more than 75 countries.


    Ramesh Babu is HT’s Bureau Chief in Kerala, with around three decades of experience in journalism.
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