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India saw a spike in monkeypox cases as the number reached nine on Wednesday after a 31-year-old woman in New Delhi tested positive for the virus.
Monkeypox causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions. Around 60 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks of the disease, with over 10,000 confirmed cases
While India’s southern state of Kerala has reported five cases, the Indian capital has four positive patients, according to media reports.
The country on Monday (1 August) confirmed its first death from monkeypox, a young man in the southern state of Kerala, making it only the fourth known death from the disease in the current outbreak.
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“We received 12 samples (from monkeypox) from different states. We have received samples from Delhi, Haryana, Himachal (Pradesh), Bihar and the neighboring areas of UP (Uttar Pradesh). Of those 12, two have tested positive and they are both from Delhi,” said Professor Dr. Lalit Dar, Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency on July 23.
The monkeypox virus causes a disease with less severe symptoms than smallpox and is found mainly in central and western Africa. The disease is transmitted from animals to humans.
Human-to-human transmission occurs through contact with bodily fluids, lesions on the skin or on internal mucosal surfaces such as the mouth or throat, respiratory droplets, and contaminated objects.
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The disease is spreading at a time when India is also seeing rising coronavirus cases, with 19,893 new cases and 53 deaths reported in the past 24 hours.