5 Diseases That Can Be Confused With Monkeypox

As is customary for most health alerts, the monkeypox He has already generated enough pranks around him. One of them is the one says it’s a sexually transmitted disease, which only spreads to gay men. Naturally, this generates a very dangerous stigma, which is why many people have jumped in to deny it. But there’s nothing worse than refute a hoax with another hoax. And that’s exactly what a doctor did recently when he tweeted a photo on the subway of a patient suspected of having monkeypox, who turned out to have another disease, known as name of neurofibromatosis.

In the image, only the legs of the alleged patient are visible, but with a very recognizable tattoo. For this reason, the man was quick to denounce that his image had been published without your consent and make claims about him that are not true. Now, because of this confusion, the man fears being singled out for his illness, which has nothing to do with monkeypox. In reality, it’s not even an infectious disease. Although it is true that soon the wounds can be confused.

And that’s not just the case with neurofibromatosis. Also with others, of different origins, although the most contagious. We will see some examples, but always keeping in mind that we should not stigmatize anyone, not even those who have monkeypox. These, of course, should be isolated at home as long as they are contagious. Therefore, if we see someone with injuries, the logic would be to think that it is something else, because the sick must be isolated. Ok, it is true that the coronavirus pandemic has taken away our faith in humanity and this perfect situation might not happen. But the solution is not to take pictures of strangers, we must also be clear about this.

Neurofibromatosis, the disease that has been mistaken for monkeypox

The neurofibromatosis is a genetic disease that causes numerous tumors to appear in the nervous tissue.

There are three types: type 1, type 2 and schwannomatosis. The former includes a large number of skin symptoms, such as featureless light brown spots, freckles in the armpits and groin, or benign tumors that manifest as pea-sized lumps located all over the skin. These are precisely the bumps that were seen on the leg of the man who starred in a viral photograph without eating or drinking it.

As it happens since the patients are children, it can also cause learning problems. Additionally, affected individuals may be shorter or have a larger head than normal.

Neurofibromatosis type 2 has many other symptoms, such as ringing in the ears, numbness in the extremities, headaches, hearing loss, seizures, or difficulty with balance. However, it can also be accompanied by those benign tumors which could be mistaken from afar for monkeypox lesions.

Finally, schwannomatosis appears later in life, between the ages of 25 and 30, and usually causes chronic pain, muscle loss and numbness.

Chickenpox, a disease that should disappear

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Most adults today have had chickenpox at some point because we didn’t have a vaccine when we were little. In Spain was included in the childhood immunization schedule in 2016it is therefore expected that, little by little, the cases will decrease.

But, some can still be seen. It’s a disease very contagious for those who have not yet passed it or who are not vaccinated, isolation is therefore also recommended.

Skin lesions may be similar, although unlike that in monkeypox it is very characteristic that they appear on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. In chickenpox this can also occur, but it’s rare. Another differential characteristic is that in monkeypox the lymph nodes are inflamed, although of course this is not visible to the naked eye.

Chickenpox is caused by herpes zoster virus and, once the disease is over, it does not go away. It remains dormant in the nerves and, in the future, can be reactivated by giving rise to a root ganglion neuropathy, colloquially known as the culverin. In this case, blisters also appear, although they are easier to recognize. because, instead of spreading throughout the body, they usually appear in the form of a ring. For example, it is quite common for them to form around the torso, although they can also form anywhere else.

Scabies: if you scratch a lot, it’s not monkeypox

The scabies or mange is a skin disease caused by the parasite Sarcoptes scabiei.

Its visible manifestation is the appearance of small pimples and blisters that can appear all over the body, but especially on areas with skin foldssuch as wrists, elbows, armpits or between fingers or toes.

Its main difference from monkeypox is that generates a lot of itching. This increases especially with the heat and at night. So if we see someone scratching a lot, it’s probably not monkeypox. Although this does not mean that it is not contagious, since it is also quite contagious by friction with the skin of sick people.

Measles, this disease which should be less frequent

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Unlike the smallpox vaccine, which was removed from immunization schedules after the eradication of the disease in humans, the measles it remains available in all developed countries. And, with great effort, in a good part of those who develop. The latter, in fact, are not disgusted with the vaccine.

But the hoaxes of anti-vaccine led to a resurgence of measles in this more developed part of the world. For this reason, although we should not suspect this disease if we see someone with skin lesions, it might be.

In his case, he also presents with fever and malaise, like monkey pox. And that also includes injuries that could be mistaken from afar. But they show a big difference, since it is only in measles that some white center spots, known as Koplik spots

Syphilis: it is sexually transmitted

Some say that monkeypox is a sexually transmitted infection. However, most experts disagree with this statement. And it is that, although this route of contagion can be considered, it is in no way the majority route.

In contrast, syphilis, transmitted by bacteria Pale treponemaYes, it is a sexually transmitted infection. It starts as one ulcer on the part that has been in contact with the pathogen. It’s usually vulva, penis, vagina or anus. However, if not treated in time, skin lesions may appear all over the body, including the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. Also, the glands can become swollen. It could possibly be confused with monkeypox, but remember that the onset is different.

Normally it doesn’t go any further, but in some cases it can get very complicated and even cause death. Fortunately, being a bacterial infection, it can be treated with antibiotics and not pass the first phase. This as long as the bacteria is sensitive to it. This is why it is so important to monitor our intake of them, to avoid resistance.

In short, there are many diseases that the eye (especially if it is the untrained eye) could be mistaken for monkeypox. Fortunately, there are very specific and sensitive tests that help us to differentiate ourselves. For this reason, we should let professionals diagnose and prescribe treatments. We can avoid embarrassment in social networks. But, above all, one can spare someone a public accusation that he does not deserve.

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