A study of Spanish Group of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV) showed new clinical and epidemiological findings monkeypox.
The research, which was coordinated by the AEDV research unit and published in the scientific journal “British Journal of Dermatology”, confirms that the primary route of transmission in this outbreak is mainly skin contact. This prospective cross-sectional study analyzed 185 cases collected by a large number of Spanish dermatologists.
General symptoms of monkeypox include fever and swollen lymph nodesfollowed by eruption widespread that progresses through four distinct stages. Although fever and swollen lymph nodes remain common in this outbreak, research has found that cases tend to have few skin lesions.
“The usual thing is that the skin symptoms appear in areas of contact during sexual intercourse. This can include lesions of the pharynx, anal canal, face and fingers,” explained Dr. Alba Catalá, dermatologist in the Dermatology Department of Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and lead author of the study.
On the other hand, and contrary to what has been described previously, this study shows that the possible dermatological lesions that may appear due to the disease are not pustules, but hard papules that look like pustules (pseudopústulas).
“This finding is important because it makes it much easier to recognize the disease, since very few diseases produce this type of lesion,” said Petunia Clavo, a dermatologist at the Sandoval Center in Madrid and another of the research authors.
However, the doctor also assured that some of these papules become necrotic and can lead to genital ulcers“making diagnosis difficult due to its similarity to other diseases”.
Other findings from this work reflect, although with less certainty, that neither well-controlled HIV disease nor previous smallpox vaccination (before 1972) affected severity lesions in study patients.
Moreover, according to the authors, the fact that a patient has another sexually transmitted infection (STI) does not exclude him from suffering from monkeypox, in the same way that patients with smallpox must be studied to rule out others. sexually transmitted diseases.
As for patient profilethe cases studied were mainly composed of men who have sex with men who were associated with frequent risky behaviors contracting sexually transmitted diseases, although Dr. Catalá considers the likelihood of this changing over time.
“Outbreaks often start in a specific group and then spread, but currently efforts to protect against disease should focus on this group“, he comments on this subject.
The authors of this article concluded that further research is needed to better understand when patients become most infectious and the precautionary advice is clear: “Although we do not know when patients start to become infectious, avoid close contact with people who have monkeypox lesions, and having them checked before having sex can help reduce the risk of contracting the disease.