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Monkeypox outbreak: 9 cases reported so far, 4 in Delhi

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Monkeypox outbreak: 9 cases reported so far, 4 in Delhi
04 Aug 2022

A 31-year-old foreign national tested positive for monkeypox on Wednesday, making her Delhi's fourth case of the virus. The Nigerian woman is the first female and the second foreign national to be infected with monkeypox. India now has 9 cases of monkeypox across two states, Kerala and Delhi. The central government will be chairing a meeting of top health experts on the developments.


Why does this story matter?

With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring monkeypox a "global public health emergency," many are wondering if it will be the next epidemic India should worry about. The arrival of monkeypox has prompted health authorities in India to install surveillance systems and impose a high alert in several states. The country reported nine confirmed cases of the viral infection so far.

Second foreigner in Delhi to test positive

Health officials are still trying to determine if the Nigerian woman, Delhi's fourth monkeypox case, traveled abroad recently. She is reported to have skin lesions and fever and has been admitted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital in Delhi. She is the second foreign national in the capital to test positive for the virus.

What about the other cases in Delhi?

Delhi's first monkeypox patient (a 31-year-old with no travel history) was discharged from the state-run LNJP hospital on Monday. On Tuesday, a 35-year-old foreign national with no travel history tested positive for the virus. CM Arvind Kejriwal also directed three private hospitals to set up dedicated monkeypox isolation wards. Meanwhile, one UAE returned monkeypox patient died in Kerala this week.


Top health experts to meet today

The Centre will chair a meeting of top health experts to discuss rising monkeypox cases, according to The Times of India. The meeting will be headed by L Swasticharan, Director, Emergency Medical Relief (EMR), Health Ministry. Her division handles public health issues of national concern.

Deceased Kerala man tested positive for monkeypox in UAE
First monkeypox death?

In Kerala, a 22-year-old man died in Thrissur on Saturday after testing positive for monkeypox in the UAE before traveling to India, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said. The state would confirm the infection only after receiving swab results from the NIV, Pune. George stated the deceased's relatives only revealed his UAE medical report following his death. Kerala has reported five cases of monkeypox.

95% monkeypox infections spread through sexual activity: Study

According to a study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, 98% of affected patients surveyed were homosexual or bisexual males, and 95% of infections were spread through sexual activity. Monkeypox, as per the experts, creates a blistering rash and is spread mostly through intimate physical contact, and the disease has not yet been classified as a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Anyone can get the virus: WHO

The WHO has advised against assuming that monkeypox can just harm one group. It emphasized the disease spreads through frequent skin-to-skin contact, as well as droplets or touching infected bedding or towels in a family environment. About 78 countries have reported more than 18,000 cases of monkeypox cases to the WHO, which is "a matter of concern."

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