India reports first monkeypox death and isolates 21 contacts

India confirmed its first monkeypox death on Monday, a young man in the southern state of Kerala, in what is only the fourth known fatality from the disease in the current outbreak.

last week, Spain reported two monkeypox-related deaths and Brazil its first. The death in India is also the first in Asia.

The 22-year-old India man died on Saturday, Kerala’s revenue minister told reporters, adding that the government had isolated 21 people who had come in contact with him.

“The person reached Kerala on July 21 but visited a hospital only on July 26 when he displayed fatigue and fever,” Minister K. Rajan said, adding that there was no reason to panic as none of the primary contacts were showing symptoms

Kerala’s health minister, Veena George, told reporters on Sunday that the man’s family told authorities the previous day that he had tested positive in the United Arab Emirates before returning to India.

India’s federal health ministry had no comment on the death, except for saying that the government had formed a task force of senior officials to monitor monkeypox cases in the country, where local media have reported at least give infections.

The WHO said late last month 78 countries had reported more than 18,000 cases of monkeypox, the majority in Europe.

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