Researchers in London said that the symptoms that appeared on monkeypox patients In the UK it differs markedly from those seen in previous outbreaks, raising fears that some cases may go unrecognized.
The study of 54 patients at the London Sexual Health Clinics in May this year found that symptoms differed from what is typical in monkeypox, where symptoms of fever and fatigue were lower, and skin lesions in their genital and anal areas were greater.
Monkeypox, a relatively mild viral disease usually endemic to many countries in West and Central Africa, has caused more than 5,000 cases and one death outside those regions – mainly in Europe – since early May, according to the World Health Organization. .
Cases have also risen in countries where the disease is most prevalent.
The research, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, follows suggestions from public health agencies such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the outbreak – which is spread mainly among gay men – presents with unusual symptoms.
The authors, who represent a number of institutions, said case definitions should be revised to avoid overlooking some cases, especially since monkeypox can “simulate” other common sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes and syphilis. The study also found that a quarter of monkeypox patients had HIV, and a quarter had other sexually transmitted diseases.
“A misdiagnosis of infection may prevent the opportunity for appropriate intervention and prevention of transmission,” said Dr. Ruth Byrne, who participated in the study.
Monkeypox spreads through close contact, and researchers are working to determine whether it can also be transmitted through sexual contact.
It is important to control the spread without stigmatizing those infected, said David Heymann, an infectious disease epidemiologist and WHO advisor on the outbreak.
“This includes working with the people most at risk to try to help them understand how easily this infection can be prevented – just by
Avoid physical contact.