Doctors in Bergamo have linked monkeypox to an eye infection. A new symptom that must be taken into account according to them.
The monkeypox virus has killed four people outside of Africa for the first time in the last week. The WHO has even placed the disease in a state of public health emergency. After a mutation, the virus, until now confined to a few specific regions of Africa, continues to spread and the discoveries continue to surprise specialists. Therefore, the various hospital departments around the world regularly describe new symptoms.
Shared discoveries on specialized platforms to alert colleagues who might confusing monkeypox with other pathologies.
Officially, the list of main symptoms is as follows:
– Blistering rash, consisting of fluid-filled blisters that progress to dryness, crusting, and then scarring.
– The vesicles are more concentrated on the face, in the anogenital area, the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, they may be present but also on the trunk and extremities.
– The mucous membranes are also affected, both in the mouth and in the genital area.
– The lymph nodes may be swollen and painful, under the jaw, in the neck or in the groin crease.
– Sore throats are also reported.
Other recently discovered symptoms
In recent weeks, some other symptoms have been noted. Therefore, wounds in mucosal regions have since been included in the official list. This is not yet the case for the recently observed penile swelling (due to oedema) and rectal pain.
These days it is the Italian doctors in Bergamo who have brought to light a new symptom affecting the eyes.
Thus, doctors describe, in The Lancet, the case of a “39-year-old bisexual white man who came to our sexual health clinic with proctitis (inflammation of the lining of the rectum) and a group of vesicles (2–3 mm ) in the anal region”. The man indicated that he had been taking HIV prevention treatment since 2019 and that he had returned from trips to France and Germany.
a kind of conjunctivitis
But what challenged the doctors is that, 7 days before the appearance of the vesicles, the young man had presented “dorsal myalgia, suspected fever (not measured) and a non-productive cough that resolved within 48 hours.” But above all, “four days later, he developed left eye conjunctivitiswith a little blister on the lower eyelid“.
During his visit to the Bergamo clinic, “the smaller vesicle on the lower eyelid was still present” and had caused “no corneal damage”. A sample of the ocular blisters showed positive monkeypox DNA.
If, “3 weeks after the onset of symptoms, the skin and eye vesicles were no longer visible and the eye was almost healed”, the Italian doctors ask their colleagues, in the face of the ongoing monkeypox epidemic, to include ” the diagnosis of patients with vesicular and pustular eye lesionsparticularly in the presence of epidemiological links or risk factors”.
Open vaccination in France
As a reminder, in the face of the spread of monkeypox, France offers preventive vaccination to groups most exposed to the virus.
Thus, from July 11, 2022, in addition to people who have had a risk contact with a patient, people who are within the indications retained by the HAS can request an appointment to be vaccinated throughout the country:
– Men who have sex with men who report multiple sexual partners.
– Trans people who report multiple sexual partners.
– Sex workers.
– Professionals who work in places of sexual consumption.
– Vaccination can also be considered on a case-by-case basis for health professionals who have to care for sick people.
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