Monkeypox Symptoms And Important Things You Should Know
‘Monkeypox’, an infectious disease that was seen only in the Central and West African region until recently, has started to spread by invading different countries of the world.
With the spread of this disease to about 75 countries very quickly, and with the number of confirmed cases of more than 16,000 cases with five confirmed deaths, the World Health Organization declared this as a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’.
‘Monkeypox’, the virus can enter the body of a healthy person through close contact with an infected person. It is said that blisters and wounds caused by the disease, other bodily fluids, infected respiratory droplets, and things like bed sheets recently used by the infected person may also contain the virus. But this is not a sexually transmitted disease.
Monkeypox Signs and Symptoms
Pre-Eruptive (Prodromal Stage)
Occurs 1-4 days prior to onset of rash
- Temperatures of 38.5°C-40.5°C
- Most often the first sign
- Chills, drenching sweats
- Often headache is severe
- Muscle aches
- Backache can also occur
- Loss of appetite
- May occur early on in illness
- Generally feeling unwell
- Fatigue can be common
- Cough (Dry or Wet)
- Swollen, tender lymph nodes
- Occurs within 2-3 days of fever onset
- Most important sign to distinguish Monkeypox from other poxvirus conditions
Locations: Cervical chain, submental, submandibular, inguinal
Eruptive (Exanthem) Stage
- Most often occurs within 1-10 days of fever onset
- Rash often begins on the oral mucosa then spreads to face and other areas of the body
- Trunk, extremities, scalp
- May occur on palms and soles
- In most recent cases, lesions first appear on perianal and genital areas
- Vesicular (vesicopustular) rash
- Lesion: 1-15mm in diameter: up to thousands of lesions: centrifugally concentrated
Develop in stages over course 14-21 days
- Lesions may be itchy in some cases
Other Skin Issues
- Petechiae may also occur
- Rarely painful: associated with 2° bacterial infection
- Necrosis, ulceration
- After skin rash resolves, scarring can occur in places of previous lesions
- “Deep pock scars”
Illness lats for 2-4 weeks
It may take 5-21 days after exposure to an infected person to develop symptoms. Blisters usually appear 1-3 days after the onset of fever and are mainly seen on the face, hands and soles. There are also cases of painful blisters/sores in the mucous membranes of the mouth, genitals and eyes.
When these rashes, which first appear as spots, become blisters, lumps and or pus blisters, a crust is formed on the surface of the skin and after they completely fall off, it can be concluded that the infection has been cured.
These symptoms can also be seen in common viral infections such as chicken pox / hand-foot-mouth disease, so it is very important to seek medical advice immediately and to isolate yourself from others immediately after symptoms appear.
Although ‘Monkeypox’ is a self-limiting disease that usually heals in 2-4 weeks, there is a risk of complications in immunocompromised people and small children. Currently, the death rate of this epidemic has been calculated as 3-6%. It also shows that the rate of transmission of this disease is very low compared to the rate of transmission of viral diseases such as smallpox/measles.