Monkeypox: what is the most common symptom and the main route of infection?

The most recent outbreak of monkey pox it has already caused the US government to issue a national health emergency. In the midst of this scenario, a new British study revealed what is the main route of infection and the most common symptom of the illness.

This is a study conducted in 185 patients of the monkeypoxwhich was published in the medical journal British Journal of Dermatology (BJD), and taken up by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD, for its acronym in English).

What is the main route of transmission of monkeypox?

According to the research led by Dr. Alba Català and multiple specialists from the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV), the main route of infection of the monkey pox is by skin contact Between people.

“The skin contact during sex is the most likely mechanism of transmission“, can be read in the abstract of the study, although it should be noted that not enough evidence has been found that it is a illness of sexual contact, and much less that it is an exclusive condition of homosexual patients.

How is this disease spread from person to person?

Although the study carried out by Spanish dermatologists indicates that the main way of contagion of the monkey pox It is by contact with the skin, the United Nations Organization (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that it is not the only way to transmit it.

“Contact with objects that have been in contact with the infected person such as clothing, bedding, towels or objects such as eating utensils can also represent a source of infection.”


The WHO specifies that people who have monkey pox they are contagious while they have symptoms, especially in the first two to four weeks after getting the disease. “Rashes, body fluids (such as fluids, pus, or blood from skin lesions), and scabs are particularly infectious,” the agency says.

What is the most common symptom of monkeypox?

According to the BJD study, the main features of the current outbreak of cases of monkeypox differ from the previous cases. Crucially, the research found that the main symptom of the current outbreak is not pustules (pus-filled lesions), as described above, but pseudopustules much more rare and remarkable.

The typical symptoms They include fever and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a generalized rash that progresses through four distinct stages. The research found that cases tend to have few injuries on the skinwhich sometimes appear only in a single area.

Skin symptoms are ‘unique’ in recent outbreak

Most of the cases began in the genitalsthe expensivethe arms, the hands and the perianal area. This research has crucially discovered that the lesions are actually pseudopustulessimilar in appearance to pustules, but are actually raised, solid, whitish lesions.

With real pustules it is possible to scrape off the top layer of the pustules. injuries to access the pus, with pseudopustules it is not possible to do this. Over time, they can become necrotic and cause ulcers. “This information is important since very few diseases produce these pseudopustules“, warns the BAD.

Other skin symptoms monkey pox include:

  • ulcers where pseudopustules are found with the moist inner linings of body cavities, such as the nose, mouth, or genital areas, also known as mucous membranes. These mucosal ulcers may be the most common lesions in some cases.
  • A painful infection of the finger, that is, a rash that has lesions similar to blisters surrounded by a halo of inflammation leading to elevated lesions that appear after the initial skin lesions.

The researchers detailed the importance of health specialists being aware of these injuries cutaneousbecause “this characteristic is very rare in other diseases, so it is a very clear sign of smallpox bow“. None of the registered patients died and the main long-term consequence was visible scarring.

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