A study by the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology concluded that the symptomatology of the current monkeypox outbreak differs from previous casesbecause it produces few skin lesions, despite the fact that its main transmission is through the skin, mainly through sexual contact.
This is confirmed by the work published in the scientific journal “British Journal of Dermatology”, based on the study of 185 cases carried out by the Spanish Group of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS of the Academy.
In a statement, dermatologists explain that general symptoms of monkeypox include fever and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a generalized rash that progresses through four distinct stages.
However, in the current outbreak, although fever and swollen lymph nodes remain common, research has shown that cases tend to have few skin lesions.
Alba Catalá, dermatologist at the Dermatology Department of Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and lead author of the study, clarified that “the usual thing is for skin symptoms to appear in areas of contact during sexual intercourse. This can include lesions in the pharynx, anal, face and fingers”.
On the other hand, and contrary to what has been described previously, this study shows that any dermatological lesions that may appear as a result of the disease are not pustules, but hard papules that look like pustules (pseudopustules).
For dermatologists, it is an “important discovery”, because it makes it much easier to recognize the disease, since very few diseases produce this type of injury.
Despite this, Petunia Clavo, a dermatologist at the Sandoval Center in Madrid and another of the authors of the research, details that “some of these papules become necrotic and can lead to genital ulcers, making diagnosis difficult due to their similarity with other diseases. “.
The cases studied were primarily men who have sex with men (MSM), according to the statement, and were associated with frequent risk behaviors for contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
A fact that, according to Catalá, can change over time, since epidemics “often start in a specific group and then spread”, although he insists that currently efforts to protect against the disease “should be focused on this group.
Although the study says more research is needed to find out when patients become more infectious, dermatologists emphasize prevention.
“Avoiding close contact with people who have monkeypox and checking them before having sex can help reduce the risk of contracting the disease,” finish the job.