Monkeypox can spread even before developing symptoms: Study
A new British study suggests that a person infected with monkeypox can transmit the virus to other people even before developing symptoms, and that this type of transmission has been responsible for the current outbreak.
The study, published on Wednesday in the British Medical Journal by Britain's Health Security Agency, examined more than 2,700 people with monkeypox cases in the UK from May 6 to Aug. 1.
According to the research, ten pairs showed evidence of pre-symptomatic transmission.
They then concluded that an estimated 53 per cent of monkeypox cases were due to pre-symptomatic transmission.
The study found that the virus could be transmitted up to four days before symptoms start.
The most symptoms found are painful lesions, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, muscle aches, back pain and fatigue.
“There is still more work needed to understand pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic infections and what that might mean for future policies and management of the monkeypox outbreak,” Nachi Arunachalam, the monkeypox incident director at the United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency, said in a statement.
Since early May 2022, monkeypox cases have been reported from countries where the disease is not endemic, even though the endemic countries continue to report cases.
Europe and North America have reported the most cases with travel history, rather than West or Central Africa where the monkeypox virus is endemic.
This is the first time that many monkeypox cases and clusters have been reported concurrently in non-endemic and endemic countries in widely disparate geographical areas.
Most reported cases so far have been identified through sexual health or other health services in primary or secondary health-care facilities and have involved mainly, but not exclusively, men who have sex with men.