In Colombia, five cases of monkeypox have been recorded.
Photo: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The symptoms of monkey pox could be markedly different from those observed and detected in the other outbreaks of the disease. This was determined by a recent study that was carried out in May of this year with 54 patients in sexual health clinics in London (United Kingdom) and who were diagnosed with this disease. (Read: Two new cases of monkeypox detected in Colombia)
This finding, the researchers warn, could raise concerns that cases of monkey pox. According to the study, published in The Lancet, “patients reported less fever and tiredness and more skin lesions in their genital and anal areas than is normally seen.”
“The high prevalence of genital skin lesions in patients and the high rate of infections of sexually transmitted concurrent means that clinics are likely to sexual health see additional cases of monkey pox in the future,” the researchers noted.
To reach this conclusion, the researchers collected data from patients with monkey pox at four sexual health centers in London. Confirmed cases were defined as individuals with laboratory-confirmed infection using a PCR test.
Next, they recorded data on each patient’s travel history, sexual history, and clinical symptoms. People diagnosed with monkey pox they were advised on isolation measures and subsequently evaluated through telephone wellness checks.
“All patients identified as men who have sex with men. 90% of patients who responded to questions about sexual activity; 47 reported at least one new sexual partner during the three weeks prior to symptoms; 49 reported inconsistent condom use in this same period of time; and 29 had more than five sexual partners in the 12 weeks before their diagnosis of monkey pox”, summarized the document. (You can read: These are the WHO recommendations to manage the monkeypox outbreak)
The investigation showed important differences in the clinical characteristics of this group of patients compared to previous cases reported from previous outbreaks in other countries. “A smaller proportion of patients in this cohort reported feeling weak and tired and/or having a fever than in studies of cases in previous outbreaks. Furthermore, 18% of patients did not report any early symptoms before the appearance of skin lesions,” the paper said.
Nicolo Girometti, a doctor and director of the Chelsea and Westminster University Hospital, explained that several countries are currently seeing a rapid increase in cases of monkey poxmainly among people attending sexual health clinics, with no apparent links to countries where the disease is endemic.
That is why, the doctor pointed out, “the monkey pox It is a novel diagnosis within the environment of the sexual health and our study, the first to be published on cases from this outbreak in the UK, will support future case finding and clinical care.”
Ruth Byrne, a doctor at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, explained that it is possible that at various stages of the infection the monkey pox can mimic common STIs, such as herpes and the syphilisin the presentation of wounds.
“It is important that doctors sexual health and patients are aware of the symptoms of monkey pox, as misdiagnosis of infection may preclude the opportunity for appropriate intervention and prevention of further transmission. Additional resources are urgently needed to support services in managing this condition,” he noted.
David Heymann, infectious disease epidemiologist and advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO), told Reuters that it was important to control the spread without stigmatizing those affected. “That includes working with populations most at risk to help them understand how easy it is to prevent this infection, simply by avoiding physical contact in the genital area when there is a rash.” (You may be interested: Mortality of non-endemic monkeypox is low. No need to be alarmed)
How is monkeypox spread?
It is transmitted by direct or indirect contact with blood, body fluids, skin lesions or mucous membranes of infected animals. That means someone doesn’t have to worry about being next to an infected patient for 30 seconds, but instead requires being together for a long time. Clothing, bedding, towels, or objects such as eating utensils/dishes that have been contaminated with the virus through contact with an infected person they can also infect others.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
The symptoms of monpoxor generally include fever, severe headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and skin rashes or lesions. The rash, the main symptom, usually begins within one to three days of the onset of fever. The lesions can be flat or slightly raised, filled with clear or yellowish fluid, and can then crust over, dry up and fall off, explains the WHO.
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