A 35-year-old Nigerian man living in Delhi has tested positive for monkeypox, a spokesperson of the Union health ministry confirmed on Monday evening. He had no recent history of foreign or local travel, officials told PTI.
The patient has been admitted to the city’s Loknayak Jai Prakash Hospital.
The case is the second one to be detected in Delhi and the sixth in India. The four other cases have been detected in Kerala. One of the patients infected in the southern state died due to the disease on Saturday.
The Nigerian man has had blisters on his skin and fever – symptoms of monkeypox – for five days, officials told PTI. His samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune and the positive result came on Monday evening.
Monkeypox is a rare infection that is spread by wild animals like rodents and primates in parts of West or Central Africa, according to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.
The zoonotic virus causes a mild illness and can result in symptoms such as high temperature, headache, backache and a chickenpox-like rash. The infection can spread if a person touches monkeypox skin blisters or uses clothing, bed sheets or towels of those suffering from the disease.
On July 14, the Union government told states and Union Territories to increase their vigil against the disease at international entry points, hospitals and other high-risk areas.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that suspected patients should be screened and tested at points of entry and in the community. Isolating patients, providing symptomatic and supportive therapy and treatment for complications are among the measures that need to be taken to prevent deaths, he said.
On July 23, the World Health Organization declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency. The classification is the highest level of alert that the World Health Organization can issue and is expected to force governments into action.