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UK health officials identify new symptoms of monkeypox

Published on 04/08/22 at 11:58am

Health officials have identified a number of new monkeypox symptoms following the news that the outbreak was now a “public health emergency of international concern”.

The UKHSA has added new symptoms associated with the disease to the list. These include a single lesion or lesions on the genitals, anus and surrounding area, lesions in the mouth, and symptoms of proctitis (anal or rectal pain or bleeding), especially if the individual has recently had a new sexual partner.

Most people with monkeypox can safely manage their symptoms at home, and there have thus far been no deaths in the UK. Most people experience mild disease, but this can cause a significant illness in some cases, requiring hospitalisation, including for severe pain.

Meera Chand, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections at UKHSA, said: "We continue to see new diagnoses of monkeypox, passed on primarily through close or sexual contact. We have updated our case definitions to reflect the clinical presentations that have been seen during this outbreak.

"It is important to recognise that just one or two genital or anal lesions, or lesions in the mouth can be signs of monkeypox, especially if you have had a new sexual partner. If you think you have monkeypox, stay at home and contact 111 or your local sexual health service for advice."

Dr Chand added: "There is still a need to be cautious and stay alert for symptoms. For many people symptoms can be mild but for some people, hospital treatment may be required."

Lina Adams

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