CDC warns of unusual new monkeypox symptom

As the monkeypox outbreak spreads, health officials discover new features of the disease. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has observed an unusual symptom associated with the monkeypox virus.

Some US patients have reported pain in or around the anus and rectum, rectal bleeding, proctitis (painful inflammation of the lining of the rectum), or the feeling of needing a bowel movement even though the bowels are empty. None of these symptoms were commonly associated with monkeypox before.

Crédito: Kontekbrothers/istockCDC urges attention to unusual monkeypox symptom

The symptoms most commonly associated with monkeypox are fever, headache, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, in addition to the rash.

The CDC notes, however, a different pattern of wounds in the current outbreak. In many patients, they first develop in the mouth or around the genitals or anus.

Instead of generalized rashes as previously, some patients see lesions that are scattered or localized to areas other than the face, hands, or feet.

The progression of the skin rash also appears to be different from previous cases. Monkeypox lesions usually start flat and then enlarge, progressing to fluid-filled blisters, followed by pus-filled blisters that spread and fall off.

But the CDC noted that among recent patients, the lesions appeared at different stages on the same area of ​​the body. Blisters filled with fluid and pus, for example, can exist side by side.

For the World Health Organization (WHO), it is clear that the disease is manifesting itself differently. “It means the virus is behaving in an unusual way compared to how it used to behave in the past,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom.

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How is the disease transmitted?

Basically, monkeypox is spread when someone has close contact with an infected person.

The virus has a few known ports of entry; they are: lesions on the skin, eyes, nose and mouth.


Credit: Marina Demidiuk/istockMonkeypox virus can be transmitted from contact with blisters

Therefore, transmission can occur from direct contact with the blisters on the skin, characteristics of the disease, through the coughing or sneezing of infected people and also through contact with bedding with contaminated fluids.

The period of transmission of the disease ends when the crusts of the lesions disappear.