What you need to know about monkey pox symptoms – The Hill

Story at a glance


  • There are over 6,000 cases of monkey pox in the US

  • The Monkeypox virus can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, skin lesions, and headaches.

  • A recent paper describes symptoms of more than 500 cases from 16 countries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6,326 cases of monkeypox infection have been reported in the US. In a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers collected information about symptoms of 528 monkeypox virus (MPV) infections from 43 sites in 16 countries in the period from April 27 to June 24 of this year.

Overall, 95 percent of people with infections had rashes or skin lesions, with 64 percent having fewer than 10 lesions. Seventy-three percent had lesions in the genital area and 41 percent had lesions in the mouth. Fifty-five percent of people had lesions on their torso, arms, or legs. Lesions were present on the palms and soles in 10 percent of the cases. A small number of people, 54, had a single genital lesion. There were no deaths among the patients.

Patients also reported fever (62 percent), lethargy (41 percent), muscle aches (31 percent), and headache (27 percent) as symptoms.

For 23 of the cases, there was information on the exposure history showing that the incubation period could vary from three to twenty days. The researchers estimated that the median incubation period was seven days.

Seventy people, accounting for 13 percent of cases, were hospitalized, the main reason being pain relief. Eighteen people had super soft tissue infections.

MPV is usually spread through close physical contact. This study notes that the virus was found in seminal fluid in 29 of the 32 samples tested, but not enough is known about the transmission of the virus to say whether it can be transmitted through body fluids. As epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina says in her newsletter, “Current data shows that MPV transmission can occur in multiple ways, but what is possible is not always probable. Epidemiological data shows that very close and long-term exposure absolutely dominates transmission networks.”

Published on Aug 03, 2022

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