Monkeypox: According to a British study, the first cases in Europe showed different symptoms

According to a study published in the medical journal The Lancet on Saturday July 2nd, many cases of monkeypox in Europe show different symptoms.

According to a study published this Saturday, the first British patients with monkeypox, a disease that has been spreading around the world since the spring, would present symptoms different from those normally observed in African countries where this disease was previously limited .

Fever but not systematic

While a febrile attack in monkeypox was thought to be almost systematic, just over half of patients studied in the UK had it, finds this study, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

This still limited work, carried out with about fifty patients, is one of the first to characterize the clinical peculiarities of the current “monkeypox” epidemic.

This disease was previously limited to ten African countries. But for several months, many cases, more than 3,000 according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) news, have been registered in Europe and the Americas.

The UK is one of the first countries to report cases this year, hence the interest of this work, which is based on observations from late May when only a hundred UK patients were recorded.

The sample thus corresponds to more than half of the patients known in the country at the time. And among them, monkeypox manifested itself significantly differently than what was known in Africa. Fever flares are not only less common, but also occur for much shorter periods of time and require far fewer hospital stays.

The typical lesions of the disease are most often concentrated around the genitals. In the previous cases, they were usually larger and extended, for example, to the face or neck.


For the authors of the study, this peculiarity suggests that the first British cases were contaminated by contacts during sexual relationships. This hypothesis, which must be clearly distinguished from the idea that the disease was sexually transmitted, corresponds to the established idea that contagion is possible by touching a skin lesion in another patient.

The majority of European and American cases so far have been recorded in men who have had homosexual relationships, but they are not the only ones affected.

More broadly, the study authors believe their observations support expanding the definition of the disease to better identify new cases without insisting so much on fever.

However, these different symptoms do not mean that the current epidemic is due to a new version of the virus, as other researchers point out.

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