A Kerala man, recently back from the UAE, who died on Saturday had tested positive for monkeypox, said the state Health Minister.
The patient was young, did not suffer from any other illness or health problems and therefore, the health department was looking into the cause of his death, Minister Veena George said.
"A young boy returned from UAE on July 22, he was with his family when on July 26 he developed a fever and was admitted on July 27. On July 28 he was moved to a ventilator. He got tested on July 19 for monkeypox in UAE, the result of which was positive," said Minister Veena George
"The person died on July 30. Health department teams went there, samples sent to NIV, test results show he was monkeypox positive. Team constituted, genomic sequencing being done at National Institute of Virology (NIV)," the Health Minister added.
As per the protocol, 20 people who were identified as being at high risk are kept under observation, said the Minister. Those under observation are family members, friends and medical staff who might have come in contact with the victim.
As precautionary measure, earlier this month, the state government had issued standard operating procedures (SOP) for isolation, sample collection and treatment of those infected or showing signs of the disease.
According to the Health department's SOP, suspected and probable cases of monkeypox are to be treated separately and in isolation and the District Surveillance Officer (DSO) should be informed immediately.
The first case of monkeypox, a rare but potentially serious viral illness, was reported from Kollam district of south Kerala on July 14.
Monkeypox typically manifests itself with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications. It is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting for two to four weeks.