Researchers are still trying to explain how the monkeypox virus — according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — might affect the eyes and the mucous membranes of the mouth.
The latest outbreak of the virus is by far the largest outside West Africa to date, raising fears that it could grow to endemic proportions. In Britain, 36 cases of smallpox have been recorded, which means that the outbreak of the disease has tripled in a few days. British health officials described the increase as “significant and worrying” but have not yet confirmed how the disease is spreading. Most cases have a rash on the soles of the hands and feet, according to the CDC. In some cases, the rash can spread to the mucous membranes inside the eyes and mouth.
According to the health agency, transmission of monkeypox virus between humans is believed to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets. Since droplets cannot travel more than a few metres, prolonged personal contact is required for transmission. “The rash usually begins within one to three days after the onset of the fever,” the CDC explained.
The rash tends to focus on the face and extremities rather than the trunk. It affects the face in 95% of cases and the palms of the hands and soles of the feet in 75% of cases. He stressed the infection of the oral mucous membranes in 70% of cases, the genitals in 30% of cases, the conjunctiva in 20%, as well as the cornea.
When the rash spreads to the oral mucosa, it may appear in the layer of skin inside the mouth, including the cheeks and lips. The CDC notes that “rashes develop sequentially from macules to papules, vesicles, blisters, and crusts that dry and fall off.”
The initial symptoms of monkeypox are similar to the typical symptoms of any viral infection. These include fever, headache, muscle and back aches, swollen glands and fatigue, so they are difficult to detect early.”
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