Monkeypox: Early European Cases Show Different Symptoms, British Study

According to a study published on Saturday, July 2, in the scientific medical journal The Lancet, many European cases of smallpox show different symptoms.

The first British patients with monkeypox, a disease that has been spreading around the world since the spring, are said to have symptoms different from those usually seen in African countries where the condition was previously limited, according to a study published in Saturday.

Fever but not always

While a flare-up of fever was considered almost systematic in monkeypox, just over half of the patients studied in the UK had it, notes this study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Carried out with about fifty patients, this work, still limited, is one of the first to characterize the clinical specificities of the current epidemic of “monkeypox”.

Until then, this disease was limited to a dozen African countries. Several, from several months to several cases, more than 3,000 latest news from the World Health Organization (WHO), have been registered in Europe and the Americas.

The United Kingdom is one of the first countries to report cases this year, hence the value of this work based on observations made in late May, when only a hundred British patients were registered.

The sample therefore corresponds to more than half of the patients known in the country at the time. And, in them, the smallpox of the monkey manifested itself distinctly differently from what was known in Africa. Not only is access to fevers less common, but it also occurs less long and requires much less hospitalization.

As for the typical lesions of the disease, it is concentrated several times around the genitals. In previous cases, they were generally wider, reaching for example the face or the nape of the neck.


For the authors of the study, this specificity suggested that British primates were contaminated by contact during sexual intercourse. This hypothesis, clearly distinguishable from the idea that the disease would have become sexually transmitted, corresponds to the well-established notion that contamination is possible by touching a skin lesion in another patient.

The majority of European and American cases have so far been reported in men who have had homosexual intercourse, but they are not the only ones affected.

More broadly, the study authors believe that their observations argue for broadening the definition of the disease in order to better detect new cases, without emphasizing fever as much.

Nevertheless, these different symptoms do not mean that the current epidemic is caused by a new version of the virus, as pointed out by other researchers.

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