New Symptoms Discovered in Monkeypox

Tonsillitis from Catalunyapress (1)
New symptoms detected in people infected with monkeypox include tonsillitis/ @Catalunyapress

Catalonia is already accumulating 1,558 cases of monkeypox. Since July 21, the Ministry of Health has administered 1,045 smallpox vaccinations and so far it has mainly affected men between the ages of 20 and 60. So symptoms of monkeypox include muscle aches, fever, chills, exhaustion, headache, back pain, or swollen lymph nodes, all followed by a generalized rash that progresses in four separate steps.

According to a study published in the medical journal The BMJ, symptoms have changed since the first case was reported outside of Africa -where the disease is endemic, and therefore the symptoms are different-, which took place on May 7 in London. The research results are based on the study of 197 UK male patients diagnosed between May 13 and July 1 of this year.


The average age of patients in the study was 38, and of these, a total of 196 identified as gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men. All patients presented lesions on the skin or mucous membranes, most often on the genitals or in the perianal region. However, only 8 of them had more than 100 skin lesions there 29 of them showed no blistering rashwhich had been one of the most detected symptoms of monkeypox.

86.3% of patients reported systemic symptoms, that is, they affect the whole body, as happens, for example, with diabetes or fibromyalgia. The most common symptoms were fever, lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) and myalgia (muscle pain). A total of 71 patients reported rectal pain, 33 sore throat, and 31 penile swelling, while 27 had oral lesions, 22 had a solitary lesion, and 9 had swollen tonsils.

On the other hand, and contrary to previous case reports suggesting that systemic symptoms precede skin lesions, 38% of patients developed systemic symptoms after the appearance of mucocutaneous lesions.

Thus, recent cases of monkeypox present some skin lesionsand on the other hand, they turned out to be common solitary lesions and the swollen tonsils. The rectal pain and swelling of the penis (oedema) these are also new symptoms. In this sense, the specialists assure that “people with confirmed monkeypox infection with extensive lesions on the penis or severe rectal pain should be considered for ongoing examination or hospital treatment”.


The appearance of new symptoms can be confused with other diseases. For example, as the study authors point out, “single lesions may be confused with other conditions, such as syphilis, lymphogranuloma venereum (sexually transmitted disease caused by a specific variety of chlamydia) red hair follicles”.

Inflammation of the tonsils can be confused with bacterial tonsillitis, which also usually has white or yellow spots on the tonsils, fever, and difficulty or pain when swallowing. However, for British investigators, the appearance of these new clues means a breakthrough “for ongoing contact tracing, public health advice, and isolation and infection control measures.”

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