According to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, a higher prevalence of skin lesions in the genital and anal region and less fatigue and fever were observed in new monkeypox patients compared to those infected during previous outbreaks of the virus.
Higher prevalence of skin lesions, less f atigue and fever new monkeypox than those infected during previous outbreaks of The Lancet.
So far, more than 5,000 monkeypox cases have been reported from 51 countries around the world that are not endemic to the disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of infections in Europe represents about 90 percent of the global total, with the UK reporting 1,235 cases – the highest in the continent.
Researchers from the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust looked at 54 patients who had attended four sexual health clinics in London and were diagnosed with monkeypox over a 12-day period in May 2022.
Of the 54 patients, all except two patients were not known to have been in contact with a known case and none reported travel to sub-Saharan Africa, but many had recently visited other European countries. did.
All patients identified as having sex with men, and 47 of 52 reported at least one new sexual partner during the three weeks prior to symptoms, and 49 of 52 reported in the same period Incompatible condom use was reported.
More than half of the patients had more than five sexual partners in the 12 weeks prior to their diagnosis of monkeypox.
Patients were all symptomatic and presented with skin lesions—94 percent of patients had at least one skin lesion on the genital or perianal skin. Most patients had mild illness and recovered during home isolation, but five individuals required hospitalization due to pain or infection with skin lesions.
All improved and were discharged in the middle of seven days of hospitalization.
“The commonly observed symptomatology of skin lesions in the anus and penile areas, and the fact that a quarter of patients tested positive for monkeypox infection at the same time for gonorrhea or chlamydia, suggests that in this cohort Monkeypox virus is transmitted by close skin-to-skin, for example in the context of sexual activity,” said Dr. Ruth Byrne of the Trust.
He added that “it is possible that monkeypox at different stages of infection may mimic common STIs, such as herpes and syphilis, in its presentation. It is important that sexual health practitioners and patients are aware of the symptoms of monkeypox because the infection is misdiagnosed.” Appropriate intervention and prevention of further transmission can prevent the chance of transmission”.
The study also observed significant differences in the clinical characteristics of this group compared to previous cases reported from earlier outbreaks in other countries.
A lower proportion of patients in this group reported being weak and tired and/or feverish compared to studies on cases from previous outbreaks.
In addition, 18 percent (10/54) of patients in this group did not report any early symptoms prior to the onset of skin lesions.
“Given the suggested route of infection through contact during sexual activity and the number of clinical findings differing from previous descriptions, we suggest that cases presently describing acute illness-like symptoms with fever The definitions should be reviewed to suit current findings, such that at least one in six of this group does not meet the current ‘probable case’ definition,” said Dr. Niccol Girometti of the Trust.
The researchers also predict that the high prevalence of genital skin lesions in patients and the high rate of co-occurring sexually transmitted infections mean that sexual health clinics are likely to see additional monkeypox cases in the future.
However, the team cautioned that their findings may not be representative of the overall outbreak. He said it is important to be alert to the possibility of spreading to other groups, while still balancing health promotion targeted to groups affected by the current outbreak.