A seven-year-old child, suspected of having the monkeypox infection, has been admitted to Kannur government medical College hospital, in Kerala, sources told News18.
The child, who returned from UK and had symptoms similar to the epidemic, was admitted on Sunday evening. Doctors are awaiting reports from the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
The child is under observation, in a specially designed isolation room.
Meanwhile, an analysis of India’s first two monkeypox cases by an institute of the Indian Council of Medical Research revealed that the duo who returned from the UAE were infected with the virus strain A.2 — different from the one causing the outbreak in Europe.
The A.2 strain, which was detected in the US last year, has not been linked to major clusters. The current outbreak is being driven by the B.1 strain of monkeypox virus, Dr Pragya Yadav, a senior scientist at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) and lead author of the study, said. The findings of the study have been published in the Research Square, a pre-print server, and have not been peer reviewed.
India has reported nine cases of monkeypox and one death so far.
The foreign returnees from the United Arab Emirates presented with fever, myalgia, and vesicular lesions on the genital area with cervical lymphadenopathy. The oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swab, EDTA blood, serum, urine, lesion samples from multiple sites were collected from both the cases on the ninth post onset day of illness.
The clinical specimens of both the cases were tested with real-time PCR for orthopoxvirus, monkeypox virus (MPXV). “The complete genome sequences obtained from skin lesions of cases 1 and 2 showed similarity of 99.91 and 99.96 per cent respectively with MPXV_USA_2022_FL001 West African clade. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the two cases were infected with monkeypox virus strain A.2 which belong to hMPXV-1A lineage of clade 3 (West African clade),” the study by the NIV under the ICMR found.
The West African and Central African (Congo Basin) are the two known clades of the monkeypox virus, of which Congo basin strain causes more severe illness, 011 per cent mortality and increased transmissibility. “The West African clade is found to be circulating in the current ongoing outbreaks of 2022 in non-endemic countries. It is which is less severe than Congo lineage reported earlier,” Dr Yadav said.
With inputs from agencies