First monkeypox death confirmed in India; common symptoms to watch out for in current outbreak

Published on Aug 01, 2022 06:05 PM IST

Monkeypox symptoms in the current wave have been different from the previous ones with patients reporting rectal or anal pain or bleeding and showing a variation from typical flu like symptoms. All you want to know.

Monkeypox has been declared a global outbreak and public health emergency by World Health Organization (WHO) on July 23 this year.(PTI)
Monkeypox has been declared a global outbreak and public health emergency by World Health Organization (WHO) on July 23 this year.(PTI)
By, Delhi

India's first monkeypox death has been confirmed; a 22-year-old man from Thrissur district of Kerala succumbed to the infection. In total, five monkeypox cases have been reported in India - four in Kerala and one in Delhi. According to reports, the 22-year-old was diagnosed with the infection in UAE and arrived in India on July 22 post which he was hospitalised for ‘fatigue and encephalitis’. The patient reportedly did not have any rashes but swollen lymph nodes - a classic monkeypox symptom. (Also read: Monkeypox or Chickenpox? Doctors explain the difference in symptoms)

Monkeypox has been declared a global outbreak and public health emergency by World Health Organization (WHO) on July 23 this year. The current outbreak has affected more than 70 countries and patients are presenting with monkeypox symptoms in geographical zones outside the endemic area also.

Monkeypox symptoms in the current wave have been different from the previous ones with patients reporting rectal or anal pain/bleeding and showing a variation from typical flu like symptoms.

"In this outbreak, there is presence of rectal pain, genital lesion (around the anus) and penile swelling which are preceding the typical flu like symptoms. The UK Health Security Agency has also updated that symptoms of proctitis (rectal or anal bleeding or pain) should be a suspect of monkeypox, especially in those who have a close unprotected sexual encounter recently. These symptoms were not seen in the previous outbreaks of the disease," says Dr Charu Dutt Arora, Infectious Diseases Specialist and Head, Ameri Health, Asian Hospital.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) also documented the study which happened at Guys and Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London and characterised the features of 197 positive patients between May and July 2022. Most of them had penile swelling, rectal/anal pain and bleeding and pain while passing stools.

"It is also important to know that most of them were from bisexual or gay orientation who actively involved in sexual intercourse without any protection. A few of them also had tonsillar swelling, which is again atypical of monkeypox," adds Dr Arora.

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