Skin lesions in genitals more common in new monkeypox outbreaks
The monkeypox outbreak hasn't shown any signs of slowing down with over 1500 cases being registered just in the UK and 7,600 cases globally.
Besides the spike in cases, experts have discovered that the virus has mutated 12 times more than the expected rate.
A recent study in the UK has found that new strain comes with symptoms similar to sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs), including skin lesions in genital and anal areas instead of tiredness or fever that was associated with previous monkeypox cases.
Here's what you need to know about the new monkeypox symptoms and how long the disease lasts.
What are latest monkeypox symptoms?
Monkeypox patients in the UK are showing symptoms that are different than those observed in previous outbreaks, according to a new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal.
The study conducted by researchers from Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London, looked at 54 patients diagnosed with monkeypox during a 12-day period in May 2022.
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Researchers found that the patients were experiencing skin lesions – more common with STIs – rather than fatigue and fever, which were more prevalent in previous cases.
According to the study, symptoms of monkeypox included:
Skin lesions – reported by 94% patients
- Fatigue or lethargy – reported by 67%
- Swollen lymph notes – among 55%
- Fever – only reported by 18%
It takes around five to 21 days for these first monkeypox symptoms to appear, according to the NHS.
Between one to five days after the initial signs, the characteristic rash appears, often beginning on your face and then spreading to other body parts including genitals.
The rash starts off with raised spots before turning into small blisters filled with fluid. Eventually, these blisters fall off.
Researchers have recommended that the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) review its current definition of monkeypox and its symptoms to better identify cases.
How long does monkeypox last?
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Most mild monkeypox infections subside without treatment within a few weeks, though severe cases may require hospitalisation.
No medical intervention or treatment is typically required for monkeypox, with most people advised to remain in isolation during their illness.
The disease, which was largely restricted to west and central Africa until a few months ago has rapidly spread around the world. It spreads from an infected person via bodily fluids, including liquid from ruptured pox, blood and mucus.
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