Veena George, the state’s minister of health, said on Monday that tests on a 22-year-old with signs of monkeypox who passed away on July 30 tested positive for the zoonotic virus.
The young man, who was from Chavakkad Kuranjiyur in the Thrissur district and tested positive there, passed away on July 30 in Kerala.
“On the evening of July 26 he developed abnormal jerking and he had fever too. On July 27 he was admitted and on July 28 he was moved to the ventilator. On July 30 the hospital authorities informed the Health Department that he got tested on July 19 for monkeypox in UAE and the result of which was positive. Our team went there, unfortunately, that person died in the evening. As per our procedure, we had sent the samples to National Institute of Virology (NIV) Alappuzha and test results show that he was positive for monkeypox,” said George.
He received antibiotics as well as treatment for encephalitis, abnormal seizures, and other illnesses.
Twenty high-risk connections, including three health professionals from the private hospital—a doctor and two nurses—are currently being watched.
The health minister stated that it’s unclear whether the family has hid the fact that the person had testing in the United Arab Emirates.
“We constituted a state-level team including state medical board members to enquire what really has happened. And the genomic sequencing of sample is being done at NIV,” she added.
She further pointed out that on his day of arrival at Calicut Airport he was not showing any symptoms of fever or rashes during the thermal scanning but he had a fever four weeks ago and on July 26 he developed it again.
“A Preliminary report says that it is a West African variant,” she said.
The Minister said that the state Health Department has ensured that every person will undergo thermal scanning at the airport so if the person has a high fever he or she can go to the help desk.
“Thermal scanning at airports is regular and if the person has a high fever, we have a help desk there and health workers will take care. We have isolation facilities in all the 48 districts and transportation facilities will also be arranged,” said George.
She also requested people to take precautions and not to hide the information.
“Currently there are two active cases in the state and all the other persons under observation were tested negative,” she added.
5 cases of monkeypox in India
Notably, India has so far documented five instances of monkeypox, with three cases occurring in Kerala, one in Delhi, and one in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
The federal government is now on high alert as a result, despite an increase in the number of illnesses in several other nations.
There is absolutely no need for panic, according to Dr. V K Paul of NITI Aayog, who represents the health sector. This is because the government has taken significant steps to control the disease.