Recent Monkeypox Symptoms Differ From Those of Prior Outbreaks


Pointers at Glance

  • Studies reported that the recent symptoms of monkeypox differ from prior outbreaks.
  • The study involved 54 cases, and it was noted that each had a laboratory-confirmed infection.
  • Most new cases are among men who have sex with men.
  • Patients reported less fever but more skin, anal & genital lesions.

As per the new study, the symptoms of monkeypox in the UK differ from the previous virus outbreaks. Less fever and tiredness cases were reported, while reports of skin lesions on the genital and anal areas were high. Fifty-four patients were examined for the study at London sexual health clinics, and each had a laboratory-confirmed infection.

Dr. Nicolo Girometti of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London said, “Currently, there is a rapid increase in the monkeypox cases among individuals attending sexual health clinics in UK and several other countries, with no apparent links to countries where the disease is endemic.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cases were raised in the countries where it usually spreads. The research paper published in Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal from London says that the outbreak was mainly identified among men who have sex with men. Most reported cases had a mild illness, though five were hospitalized for pain or infected skin lesions. However, all were discharged later.

The study also found that a quarter of the monkeypox patients were HIV positive, and a quarter had STI. Dr. Ruth Byrne said, “Misdiagnosis of the infection may prevent the opportunity for appropriate intervention and prevention of onward transmission.”

While few of the patients were weak, tired, or had a fever in previous outbreaks, about 18% had no symptoms before skin lesions emerged. Monkeypox spreads through close contact, and research is going on to understand whether it can be transmitted via semen, the classic definition of sexual transmission.

The authors mentioned that the findings might not represent the outbreak as the testing was carried out in a specific group of infected individuals. “It was important to control the spread without stigmatizing those affected,” said David Heymann, an infectious diseases epidemiologist and WHO advisor on the outbreak.

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