UK Monkeypox Cases Show Different Symptoms From Previous Outbreaks, Study Finds

Monkeypox cases in the UK have presented symptoms unusually, compared to previous outbreaks according to a study.

2 min read
UK Monkeypox Cases Show Different Symptoms From Previous Outbreaks, Study Finds

Patients with monkeypox in the UK have symptoms that are noticeably different from those with monkeypox in countries it's endemic to, according to researchers in London.

Globally, the monkeypox caseload has crossed 5,000 from over 50 countries, with one death reported from Nigeria. Monkeypox, which was traditionally endemic to parts of West and Central Africa, has seen a massive surge in cases in 2022, in people with no travel history to endemic countries.

While monkeypox patients usually report fever, fatigue, and rashes and skin lesions on the face and other parts of the body, researchers said that the cases in the UK have reported more skin lesions in the genital and anal regions.

The study included a sample size of 54 individuals from clinics across the UK.

The WHO had said earlier that a large number of monkeypox cases which have been detected, were detected in men who have sex with men.


The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, details the symptoms as follows:

"36 (67%) of 54 individuals reported fatigue or lethargy, 31 (57%) reported fever, and ten (18%) had no prodromal symptoms. All patients presented with skin lesions, of which 51 (94%) were anogenital. 37 (89%) of 54 individuals had skin lesions affecting more than one anatomical site and four (7%) had oropharyngeal lesions. One in four patients had a concurrent STI."

The study concluded that the monkeypox variant spreading in the UK is presenting unusual symptoms, and must be studied closely.

It also adds that it's important to monitor cases closely, since monkeypox could be confused for an STD like herpes or syphilis.

Monkeypox cases began spreading in countries it is not endemic to, in April 2022.

While the WHO has stated that monkeypox is not a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), it has advised heightened monitoring and inoculation of vulnerable groups like pregnant women, immunocompromised people, and children.

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