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The latest outbreak is by far the largest seen outside Western Africa to date, stirring concerns it could grow to endemic proportions. Yesterday Britain logged another 36 cases of monkeypox yesterday, meaning the outbreak has tripled in size in just a few days. Health bosses have described the rise as S, but have yet to confirm the disease has spread. The majority of cases present with a rash on the soles of their hands and feet. In some cases, the rash may spread to the mucous membranes inside the eyes and mouth, according to the CDC.
According to the health body, human transmission is thought to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets.
Because droplets cannot travel more than a few feet, prolonged face-to-face contact is required for transmission.
The CDC explains: “The skin eruption usually begins within one to three days of the appearance of fever.
“The rash tends to be concentrated on the face and extremities rather than on the trunk. It affects the face in 95 percent of cases, and the palm of the hands and soles of the feet in 75 percent of cases.
“Also affected are oral mucous membranes in 70 percent of cases, genitalia in 30 percent of cases, and conjunctivae in 20 percent, as well as the cornea.”
As the rash spreads to the oral mucous membrane, it may become apparent on the layer of skin inside the mouth, including the cheeks and lips.
“The rash evolves sequentially from macules to papules, vesicles, pustules, and crusts which dry up and fall off,” notes the CDC.
The number of lesions can vary from a few to several thousand, and in severe cases, they can coalesce until large sections of skin slough off.
Doctor Clare Morrison, the clinical expert at MedExpress, told Express.co.uk: “The initial symptoms of monkeypox resemble symptoms typical of any viral infection. These include fever, headache, muscle and backaches, swollen glands, and fatigue, so it may be difficult to detect early.”
In early research, scientists have also found that an infection from monkeypox could affect the lung during infection.
The findings, published in the journal of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, revealed that the infection could increase the production of protections involved in inflammation.
The monkeypox virus also appeared to decrease the production of proteins that keep lung tissue intact and lubricated.