Scientific research has identified new symptoms related to the current spread of monkey pox: Pain in the anal area and swelling of the penis. The results are presented after a clinical analysis of 197 patients in London between May and July 2022.
The researchers noted, “New clinical manifestations of monkeypox infection have been identified, including rectal pain and penile swelling. These presentations should be included in public health messages to aid early diagnosis and reduce transmission.”
According to the study published in the journal British Medical Journal, of the 197 research participants, all of them were men and only one did not have sex with other men. The average age of the patients examined was 38 years. All of them have skin lesions, especially on the genitals or in the anal area. Eight patients had more than a hundred lesions. Many also reported symptoms such as fever and pain.
One third of the participants (71) reported pain in the anal area, 16.8% had a sore throat and 15.7% had edema (swelling) of the penis. Oral injuries affected 27 patients (13.7%), according to the survey. Twenty patients were hospitalized for symptom control.
Researchers associated with Guys and St Thomas of the UK’s National Health Service concluded: “These findings confirm ongoing, unprecedented community transmission of smallpox virus among gay, bisexual and MSM in the UK.”
Last week, the World Health Organization recommended that “men who have sex with men” reduce the number of their partners, sex, and exposure to the virus.
The study also notes that only a quarter of patients reported contact with someone with a confirmed smallpox infection, which increases the likelihood of transmission among people who are asymptomatic or have few symptoms.
Understanding these findings will have significant implications for contact tracing, public health advice, ongoing infection control and isolation procedures, the researchers say.
They also highlight that continued outbreaks can lead to its spread to vulnerable populations, including immunocompromised individuals and children. “The implications of this are not yet understood.”
In Brazil, on Friday 29, the Ministry of Health confirmed the first death of smallpox in monkeys. This is a 41-year-old patient with “immunocompromised” and “comorbidities, including cancer (lymphoma),” which exacerbated the condition, according to the file.
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