Penile swelling and rectal pain are recognized as symptoms of monkeypox

70 of the 197 participants in the study were also HIV positive, while 56 had a sexually transmitted infection. Researcher Julia Bilinska, who was involved in the study, told New Scientist that co-infection could be a reason why these individuals showed different symptoms.

The study also found that only 26.5 percent of patients reported that they had come in contact with someone who was confirmed to have monkeypox or its typical symptoms. So, it is likely that the disease could be spreading without showcasing any symptoms at all. This could change also help health agencies determine how they approach disease transmission.

The research findings were published in BMJ.


Objective: To characterize the clinical features of monkeypox infection in humans.

Results: The median age of participants was 38 years. All 197 participants were men, and 196 identified as gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men. All presented with mucocutaneous lesions, most commonly on the genitals (n=111 participants, 56.3%) or in the perianal area (n=82, 41.6%). 170 (86.3%) participants reported systemic illness. The most common systemic symptoms were fever (n=122, 61.9%), lymphadenopathy (114, 57.9%), and myalgia (n=62, 31.5%). 102/166 (61.5%) developed systemic features before the onset of mucocutaneous manifestations and 64 (38.5%) after (n=4 unknown). 27 (13.7%) presented exclusively with mucocutaneous manifestations without systemic features. 71 (36.0%) reported rectal pain, 33 (16.8%) sore throat, and 31 (15.7%) penile oedema. 27 (13.7%) had oral lesions and 9 (4.6%) had tonsillar signs. 70/195 (35.9%) participants had concomitant HIV infection. 56 (31.5%) of those screened for sexually transmitted infections had a concomitant sexually transmitted infection. Overall, 20 (10.2%) participants were admitted to hospital for the management of symptoms, most commonly rectal pain and penile swelling.

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