Study identifies new symptoms of monkeypox

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An international collaboration from 16 countries led by researchers at Queen Mary University of London (UK) succeeded in identifying new clinical symptoms in people infected with the monkey pox.

The study, published in the scientific journal The New England Journal of Medicinerepresents the largest case series to date, reporting 528 confirmed infections in 43 locations between April 27 and June 24, 2022.

The current spread of the virus disproportionately affects gay men and bisexuals, since 98% of infected people belong to these groups.

Although the sexual closeness is the most likely route of transmission in most of these cases, the researchers stress that the virus can be transmitted by any close physical contact through large respiratory droplets and potentially through clothing and other surfaces.

Many of the infected people examined in the study had symptoms not recognized by current medical definitions of monkeypox. These symptoms include single genital lesions and sores in the mouth or anus.

Clinical symptoms are similar to those of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and can easily lead to misdiagnosis. In some people, anal and oral symptoms have led to hospital admission for pain and swallowing difficulties.

“Viruses know no borders and infections Monkeypox have already been described in 70 countries and in more than 13,000 people. This truly global case series has enabled clinicians from 16 countries to share their extensive clinical experience and many clinical photos to help other clinicians in places with fewer cases,” said Chloe Orkin, Professor of HIV Medicine at Queen Mary University of London. .

He said it has been shown that current international case definitions need to be expanded to add symptoms that are not currently included, such as mouth soresin the anal mucosa and simple ulcers.

“These specific symptoms can be serious and have caused hospital admissions, so it is important to make a diagnosis. Expanding the case definition will help clinicians more easily recognize the infection and thus prevent people from passing it on,” Orkin said.

He recognized that, given global constraints on the vaccine supply and antivirals for this neglected and chronically underfunded tropical infection, prevention remains a key tool in limiting the global spread of human monkeypox infection.

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