CDC issues new guidance on monkeypox symptoms as U.S. cases balloon
Written by Aria Bendix
The United States has reported 72 menopause cases in all 18 states in the last month, making it the largest monopoly outbreak in the country.
That number has grown significantly since the beginning of June, when only 19 cases were confirmed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new directive Tuesday on how to identify monkeys during the outbreak, based on the symptoms doctors have so far seen. Some recent diseases have been reported differently from previous events in Africa, where monkeypox is prevalent in 11 countries.
Traditionally, people with monotheypox have a fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches and muscle aches, followed by rashes that start on their face or mouth and then spread to other parts of their body – especially the hands and feet.
But in most recent U.S. cases, patients first experience a rash on the mouth or near the vagina or anus. And instead of spreading the rash, some patients saw scattered or localized lesions in other areas besides the face, hands or feet. In some cases, flu-like symptoms appear after an outbreak, but some people have no symptoms at all.
The outbreak appears to be progressing differently than in previous cases. Monseypox ulcers usually start at the bottom and rise, after which they progress to fluid bubbles, followed by reddish-brown blisters that cough and fall off. But the CDC said on Tuesday among the latest patients, the lesions appeared at different stages in the same body area. Blisters full of fluid and redness, for example, may be present from side to side.
In addition, some U.S. patients they have reported pain in or near the anus and rectum, bleeding of the rectum, proctitis (painful inflammation of the rectal lining) or a feeling of need to empty the bowels even though the bowels are empty. None of those symptoms were commonly associated with monocytes before.
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday it had identified a unique pattern of symptoms among the most recent cases outside Africa, which included limited rashes on certain areas of the body such as genitals or mouth.
“It is now clear that there is an abnormality, which means that the virus is behaving differently from the way it did in the past,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
Tedros warned last week that the window containing the outbreak could be small, noting that “the risk of developing monopolyps in illegal countries is real.”