What are the Symptoms of Monkeypox?

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The Signs and Symptoms of Monkeypox


In the current outbreak of Monkeypox, most people (>90%) present with a rash or skin lesions.


The rash can appear in the genital/anal area and can also appear on other parts of the body such as the feet, hands, chest, face or mouth. The rash/lesions can appear like a pimple or blister and will go through several stages before healing. The lesions are infectious and high viral loads in the lesions have been noted in several studies.




Some people (about 65%) present with fever, tiredness, headaches and chills (systemic symptoms).



There are some reports of people being symptom free but testing positive for the virus.



This is unlike previous recorded outbreaks of Monkeypox, where systemic symptoms were thought to appear before the progression to rash or lesion. In previous outbreaks swelling of lymph nodes was thought to be characteristic of Monkeypox, in the current outbreaks very few cases (<10%) present with this symptom.




How many people get really sick with Monkepox?


In one study, which looked at 181 cases in Spain,  39% of people who were diagnosed with Monkeypox required treatment. In a case-based report of over 17000 cases in Europe, the number of hospitalized individuals was about 6% of positive cases. Both underscore the need for preparing healthcare workers and systems for detecting and managing cases.


What is the current situation with respect to Monkeypox related deaths? What is the situation in India?

In previous outbreaks, a mortality of 1-10% has been recorded. In the current outbreak, Monkeypox related deaths have also been reported from multiple countries including Brazil and Spain.

In India, there was one death of the 10 reported cases (until Aug 16).


Joint ECDC-WHO Regional Office Europe Monkeypox Surveillance Bulletin Produced on 10 August 2022

Tarín-Vicente, Eloy José et al. “Clinical presentation and virological assessment of confirmed human monkeypox
virus cases in Spain: a prospective observational cohort study
.” Lancet (London, England), S0140-6736(22)01436-2. 8 Aug. 2022, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(22)01436-2
WHO Monkeypox FactSheet (accessed Aug 9, 2022).
Monkeypox Resource by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Retrieved Aug 16, 2022).

De Baetselier, I., Van Dijck, C., Kenyon, C. et al. Retrospective detection of asymptomatic monkeypox virus infections among male sexual health clinic attendees in Belgium. Nat Med (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-022-02004-w

Non-endemic countries record first monkeypox deaths– CIDRAP News Aug 01, 2022