Madrid Desk, Aug 1 (EFE).- India on Monday confirmed its first death from monkeypox, as cases of the infectious virus continue to crop up in countries around the world.
Indian health authorities said a 22-year-old man from the southern state of Kerala who died on Saturday had been infected with monkeypox.
About 20 close contacts of the patient, who had recently traveled to the United Arab Emirates, have been placed under observation.
The death makes India one of the first countries in the world – outside Africa, where it is endemic – to record deaths from the disease. Two deaths have also been confirmed in Spain and one in Brazil.
Last week, the World Health Organization declared an international health emergency over the current outbreak.
Over 16,000 cases have been reported in 75 countries worldwide. Europe followed by the Americas are the most affected regions, but it has also spread to Southeast Asia and what the WHO calls the Western Pacific, which includes most of East Asia and Oceania and parts of Southeast Asia.
Health authorities in France, meanwhile, have opened nearly 120 monkeypox vaccination centers and administered 4,100 doses in the Paris region alone, after almost 2,000 cases were reported in the country.
The vaccination regime is aimed primarily at men and transgender people with multiple male sexual partners and sex workers. A PCR diagnostic test is free of charge if symptoms are showing.
An administrative source at the Edison Health Center told Efe that this group is actively participating in the campaign and “has mobilized to get vaccinated”.
According to the WHO, men aged 18-44 are “disproportionately affected” by the outbreak, accounting for 77% of cases.
In cases where sexual orientation has been factored in, 98% of patients “identified as gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.”
The disease is transmitted by close physical contact, especially during sexual intercourse, by contact of the skin or mucous membranes with pimples or scabs, by sharing personal effects of the infected person (towels, clothes, razors, toothbrushes, etc.).
It is also transmissible by prolonged face-to-face contact through saliva droplets (kissing, sneezing, etc.) EFE