A 22-year-old man from Kerala‘s Thrissur is suspected to be the first Monkeypox fatality reported in India.  Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Sunday said the man had tested positive for the virus in the UAE.

The man had returned from high-risk UAE on July 21 and stayed with his family members. He sought treatment at a private hospital on July 27 for severe fatigue and brain fever. After his death, health officials sent the samples to the National Institute of Virology at Alappuzha for confirmation.

On Saturday, his family members submitted the report for the monkeypox test.

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“His monkeypox test done in a foreign country was positive, but his relatives gave the report to hospital authorities yesterday,” the health minister said, adding that the virus is not as highly virulent or contagious as Covid-19.

“People who came into contact with other infected people elsewhere did not get sick,” George said. 

As of July 29, there have been a total of 22,485 confirmed monkeypox cases during the 2022 outbreak, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Out of these cases, only 344 were reported from the countries that have historically reported monkeypox. 

In the last few days, several other countries reported the first monkeypox deaths outside of Africa in the current outbreak. Authorities in Europe said that they are expecting more deaths.

Brazil and Spain logged one monkeypox death each on July 29, AP News reported. Spain reported its second monkeypox-related death on July 30.

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The deaths in Spain are believed to be the first ones related to monkeypox in Europe. However, Both Spain and Brazil are still investigating whether monkeypox was the real reason behind the deaths. The patient in Brazil also reportedly had suffered from “other serious conditions.”

“With the continued spread of monkeypox in Europe, we will expect to see more deaths,” Catherine Smallwood, a senior emergency officer at World Health Organization (WHO) Europe said. “Our goal needs to be on interrupting transmission quickly in Europe and stopping this outbreak.”