40% of patients with monkeypox suffer complications that require medical treatment, according to a study of the disease in Spain in which several hospitals have participated published in The Lancet magazine.
The observational study, which has been carried out in three sexual health units in Madrid and Barcelona, determines that almost half of the patients analyzed presented complications that required medical treatment, mainly to reduce the pain associated with proctitis (25%). , tonsillar ulceration (11%) and penile edema (8%).
Three patients even required admission for complications derived from these manifestations.
Furthermore, all participants presented skin lesions, in the anogenital or perioral region.
Another relevant conclusion of the research points to “skin-to-skin contact” during sexual intercourse as the “dominant factor” in the transmission of monkeypox, over airborne transmission.
On the other hand, they concluded that, given the short incubation period, pre-exposure vaccination of high-risk groups is likely to be more effective than post-exposure vaccination for infection control.
Finally, the researchers note that viral loads are “surprisingly” higher in swabs (the samples collected) from skin lesions compared to relatively low levels in pharyngeal swabs.
For this reason, they point out that this fact “must be investigated further to find out if respiratory transmission is viable and consequently guide the decision regarding home respiratory isolation of those affected.”
In the evaluation of the 181 confirmed cases used, 175 (98%) were men, 166 of whom were identified as men who have sex with men.
The mean age of those affected was 37 years, and the mean duration of the incubation period for the disease was established as 7 days.
The 12 de Octubre University Hospital, the Germans Trias University Hospital – Fight Against Infections Foundation and the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital collaborated in the study, with the participation of the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
Last May, the first autochthonous cases of monkeypox were reported in Europe, giving rise to an international outbreak.
Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international health emergency, its highest level of alert, due to the current outbreak of this disease, which on August 5 already totaled more than 26,000 cases (nine of them fatal) in nearly 90 countries, many of them in Europe, where the disease was not endemic.
The United States remains the country with the most reported cases, with 6,307, followed by Spain (4,577), Germany (2,839), the United Kingdom (2,759) and France (2,239). (YO)