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      Monkeypox: Risks and Approaches to Prevention


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          Since early May 2022, an outbreak due to Mpox virus (formerly called monkeypox) has occurred in many countries around the world. On July 23, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’. In order to combat the outbreak, it is important to have effective infection prevention and control plans. The first step is to qualitatively and quantitatively determine the risks of infections, followed by the design and implementation of infection prevention and control measures. Mpox is transmitted through direct, indirect, and prolonged contact, through sexual transmission, and via the respiratory route. Men who have sex with men are identified as the most vulnerable population. Home pet-raisers, and health care workers are at risk of catching the disease. The outcome of infection is catastrophic among the elderly, immunocompromised individuals, pregnant female and children. The spillover to animals is of great concern. It is important to communicate the risks and have community engagement in the control of this outbreak. The availability of vaccines will add to the capability of containing the outbreak. It is critical to prevent the virus from spreading further. Hence, we review the recent findings on the risk management of Mpox along with the preventive strategies.

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          Clinical features and management of human monkeypox: a retrospective observational study in the UK

          Background Cases of human monkeypox are rarely seen outside of west and central Africa. There are few data regarding viral kinetics or the duration of viral shedding and no licensed treatments. Two oral drugs, brincidofovir and tecovirimat, have been approved for treatment of smallpox and have demonstrated efficacy against monkeypox in animals. Our aim was to describe the longitudinal clinical course of monkeypox in a high-income setting, coupled with viral dynamics, and any adverse events related to novel antiviral therapies. Methods In this retrospective observational study, we report the clinical features, longitudinal virological findings, and response to off-label antivirals in seven patients with monkeypox who were diagnosed in the UK between 2018 and 2021, identified through retrospective case-note review. This study included all patients who were managed in dedicated high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) centres in Liverpool, London, and Newcastle, coordinated via a national HCID network. Findings We reviewed all cases since the inception of the HCID (airborne) network between Aug 15, 2018, and Sept 10, 2021, identifying seven patients. Of the seven patients, four were men and three were women. Three acquired monkeypox in the UK: one patient was a health-care worker who acquired the virus nosocomially, and one patient who acquired the virus abroad transmitted it to an adult and child within their household cluster. Notable disease features included viraemia, prolonged monkeypox virus DNA detection in upper respiratory tract swabs, reactive low mood, and one patient had a monkeypox virus PCR-positive deep tissue abscess. Five patients spent more than 3 weeks (range 22–39 days) in isolation due to prolonged PCR positivity. Three patients were treated with brincidofovir (200 mg once a week orally), all of whom developed elevated liver enzymes resulting in cessation of therapy. One patient was treated with tecovirimat (600 mg twice daily for 2 weeks orally), experienced no adverse effects, and had a shorter duration of viral shedding and illness (10 days hospitalisation) compared with the other six patients. One patient experienced a mild relapse 6 weeks after hospital discharge. Interpretation Human monkeypox poses unique challenges, even to well resourced health-care systems with HCID networks. Prolonged upper respiratory tract viral DNA shedding after skin lesion resolution challenged current infection prevention and control guidance. There is an urgent need for prospective studies of antivirals for this disease. Funding None.
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            Epidemiological, clinical and virological characteristics of four cases of monkeypox support transmission through sexual contact, Italy, May 2022

            Since May 2022, an outbreak of monkeypox has been ongoing in non-endemic countries. We report four cases in Italy in young adult men reporting condomless sexual intercourse. The patients are in good clinical condition with no need for specific antiviral drugs. Biological samples from seminal fluid were positive for monkeypox viral DNA. For many other viruses found in semen there is no evidence of sexual transmission. The possibility of sexual transmission of monkeypox virus needs to be investigated.
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              Clinical features and novel presentations of human monkeypox in a central London centre during the 2022 outbreak: descriptive case series

              Abstract Objective To characterise the clinical features of monkeypox infection in humans. Design Descriptive case series. Setting A regional high consequences infectious disease centre with associated primary and secondary care referrals, and affiliated sexual health centres in south London between May and July 2022. Participants 197 patients with polymerase chain reaction confirmed monkeypox infection. 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. Conclusions These findings confirm the ongoing unprecedented community transmission of monkeypox virus among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men seen in the UK and many other non-endemic countries. A variable temporal association was observed between mucocutaneous and systemic features, suggesting a new clinical course to the disease. New clinical presentations of monkeypox infection were identified, including rectal pain and penile oedema. These presentations should be included in public health messaging to aid early diagnosis and reduce onward transmission.

                Author and article information

                J Infect Public Health
                J Infect Public Health
                Journal of Infection and Public Health
                Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.
                5 April 2023
                5 April 2023
                [a ]Medical Microbiology and Immunology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt- Executive Committee member (ISAC)
                [b ]Viral Infection Working Group/International Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (ISAC)
                [c ]Microbiology and Immunology, Qatar Armed Forces Hospital
                [d ]Microbiology, Al Ahli hospital, Doha, Qatar
                [e ]Medical Microbiology and Immunology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt
                [f ]Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
                [g ]Grupo de Investigación Biomedicina, Faculty of Medicine, Fundación Universitaria Autónoma de las Américas, Pereira 660001, Risaralda, Colombia
                [h ]Program of Master in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Universidad Científica del Sur, Lima 150142, Peru
                [i ]Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, El- Fayoum University, El- Fayoum, Egypt
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence to: Medical Microbiology and Immunology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, 9 A road 275, New Maadi, Cairo, Egypt,


                © 2023 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.

                Elsevier has created a Monkeypox Information Center (https://www.elsevier.com/connect/monkeypox-information-center) in response to the declared public health emergency of international concern, with free information in English on the monkeypox virus. The Monkeypox Information Center is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its monkeypox related research that is available on the Monkeypox Information Center - including this research content - immediately available in publicly funded repositories, with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the Monkeypox Information Center remains active.

                : 14 October 2022
                : 24 March 2023
                : 2 April 2023

                monkeypox,mpox,outbreak,infection prevention and control,risk assessment


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