Home / News / India /  Suspected Monkeypox case in Bengaluru, turns out to be of chickenpox

A suspected case of Monkeypox disease at the Bengaluru airport has turned out to be a case of Chickenpox instead. According to Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar, the Ethiopian citizen had shown some symptoms of Monkeypox at Bengaluru airport, earlier this month and was subjected to tests. But his reports confirmed that it was a case of chickenpox.

"A middle-aged Ethiopian citizen who had come to Bengaluru earlier this month was subjected to Monkeypox test after he was suspected to have Monkeypox symptoms. His report has now confirmed that it is a case of chickenpox," Sudhakar said in his tweet.

"All symptomatic travellers arriving from the affected countries to Bengaluru/Mangaluru international airports are being screened, isolated, and tested for fever, chills and sweats, lymph node swelling, headache, muscle ache, exhaustion, sore throat and cough, skin rashes," the minister added.

So far India has reported four cases of Monkeypox, of which three are from Kerala while one is from Delhi.

According to health experts and professionals, Monkeypox can spread from close contact regardless of sexual orientation or race, and scapegoating or demonising the entire LGBTQ community as 'spreaders' will be a repeat of the mistake made during the AIDS epidemic.

The monkeypox outbreak has raised widespread fear for the LGBTQ community amid reports of the disease being traced to men having sex with men.

Indian equal rights activist Harish Iyer said monkeypox doesn’t just spread in the LGBTQ community.

"It happened in the community when there was pride month going on and there were more events in the community. It is just an episode of everyone going to a wedding and then getting Covid. So you need to look at them as victims and not perpetrators," Iyer said.

He further said the monkeypox outbreak is already stigmatising the community and people who developed fever and are scared to go for a medical test.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a public health advisory stating that "some cases (of monkeypox) have been identified through sexual health clinics in communities of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men".

The rare disease has been declared a public health emergency in New York City, with officials declaring that the city is currently the epicentre of the outbreak and an estimated 150,000 New Yorkers may currently be at the risk of exposure.

The UN Health agency's European office said that more monkeypox-related deaths can be expected, following reports of the first fatalities outside Africa, while stressing that severe complications were still rare.

According to the WHO, more than 18,000 cases have been detected throughout the world outside of Africa since the beginning of May, with the majority of them in Europe.

Early signs of the disease include a high fever, swollen lymph glands, and a chickenpox-like rash. The disease usually heals by itself after two to three weeks, sometimes taking a month. A smallpox vaccine from Danish drug maker Bavarian Nordic, marketed under the name Jynneos in the United States and Imvanex in Europe, has also been found to protect against monkeypox.

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