Study suggests monkeypox outbreak may be transmitted through sexual contact
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — Studies in journals The Lancet Infectious Diseases indicates that the epidemic monkey pox This time is different from previous outbreaks. This difference can be seen in the tendency of symptoms experienced by patients.
This study involved 54 monkeypox patients who visited a sexual health clinic in London, England. These patients were diagnosed with monkeypox in May 2022. All patients were male with a median age of 41 years.
More than half of the participants had more than five sexual partners in the 12 weeks before being diagnosed with monkeypox. As many as 90 percent of patients also claimed to have had at least one new sexual partner in the three weeks before experiencing monkeypox symptoms.
In contrast to previous monkeypox outbreaks, symptoms of the appearance of skin lesions in the genital and anal areas are more common in monkeypox patients today. Meanwhile, symptoms such as fatigue and fever in monkeypox patients are currently less than in monkeypox patients in previous outbreaks.
All patients experienced symptoms of skin lesions. As many as 94 percent have lesions in the genital or perianal area.
Almost all patients have mild symptoms and recover while undergoing isolation at home. However, five patients required hospitalization due to pain or infection in the skin lesions.
The research team also found that there were quite a number of cases of sexually transmitted infections that occurred simultaneously with monkeypox infection in this outbreak. Based on studies, there are a quarter of monkeypox patients who are also positive for gonorrhea or chlamydia at the same time.
“This indicates that transmission of monkeypox virus among participants occurred through close skin-to-skin contact, for example through sexual activity,” said Ruth Byrne of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
In light of these findings, the research team predicts that monkey pox case will be more often found in sexual health clinics. Many of the participants in this study were also diagnosed with monkeypox when they consulted a sexual health clinic.
“Monkeypox is a new diagnosis in the field of sexual health,” said Nicolo Girometti of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The Week.
Cases of monkeypox are currently on the rise in several countries, including the UK. Most of the patients also had no relationship with monkeypox endemic countries.
Since May to date, there have been more than 3,200 cases of monkeypox in the world reported to the WHO. Cases of monkeypox are spread in about 50 countries.