In a major finding, a group of researchers claimed differences in monkey pox symptoms between current and previous outbreaks.
The findings are based on 197 confirmed monkey pox cases at an infectious disease centre in London between May and July 2022. The BMJ publsihed the study. The authors say that some of the common symptoms, including rectal pain and penile swelling (oedema), differ from those described in earlier outbreaks.
MONKEY POX; THE METHOD
All 197 participants in this study were men (average age 38 years). They were identified as gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men. All patients had lesions on their skin or mucosal membranes, most commonly on the genitals or in the perianal area.
About 86 per cent of the patients reported systemic illness (affecting the entire body). Sixty per cent of the patients had common symptom of fever. The other common symptioms included swollen lymph nodes (58 per cent), and muscle aches and pain (32 per cent).
In contrast with existing reports suggesting that systemic symptoms precede skin lesions, 38 per cent developed systemic symptoms after the onset of mucocutaneous lesions. And 14 per cent presented with lesions without systemic features.
A total of 71 patients reported rectal pain, 33 sore throat, and 31 penile oedema. They also came across 27 patients having oral lesions, 22 solitary lesion, and nine swollen tonsils.
The authors note that solitary lesions and swollen tonsils were not previously known to be typical features of monkey pox infection. They could have been mistaken for other conditions.
Just over a third (36%) of participants also had HIV infection,. Moreover, 32% of those screened for sexually transmitted infections had a sexually transmitted infection.
Overall, 20 (10%) of participants were admitted to hospital for rectal pain and penile swelling. However, no deaths were reported and no patients required intensive hospital care.
The authors acknowledge some limitations, such as the observational nature of the findings, potential variability of clinical record keeping, and the fact that the data are limited to a single centre.
meanwhile, data from GAVI (Vaccine Alliance), African countries, where monkeypox is endemic, are yet to receive vaccines to prevent the disease, even as 70 suspected deaths have been recorded in these countries.
Non-endemic counties in the Americas, Europe and Southeast Asia, on the other hand, which recorded fewer deaths received vaccines, it added.