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Is asymptomatic monkeypox case as infectious? Here's what experts say

The Union health ministry issued the 'Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease' and stated that human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through large respiratory droplets

Monkeypox | disease | Viruses

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Shutterstock

As the incident continue to surge, India on Tuesday reported one more such case, taking the toll to eight. The most recent case was reported from the national capital, where a foreign national tested positive, taking Delhi's overall tally to three. According to Centers for Control and Prevention, there are a total of 25,391 infections from 83 countries on Wednesday.

The (WHO) had recently declared a global public health emergency of international concern.

According to WHO, is a viral zoonosis -- a virus transmitted to humans from animals -- with symptoms similar to smallpox although clinically less severe.

Monkeypox typically manifests itself with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications. It is usually a self-limited with symptoms lasting for two to four weeks.

According to a report published by the researchers of the British Medical Journal, some other symptoms of monkeypox include rectal pain and penile oedema (painless, non-tender swelling of the penis).

Also Read: Health ministry releases dos and don'ts to prevent contracting monkeypox

"A variable temporal association was observed between mucocutaneous and systemic features, suggesting a new clinical course to the . 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," the report added.

Asymptomatic monkeypox

As studies continue to suggest new and unknown symptoms of the virus, a pertinent question remains whether one can be asymptomatic for monkeypox?

According to a report in ETimes, asymptomatic cases of monkeypox is possible. Dr Monalisa Sahu, Consultant Infectious Diseases, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad explains, "These patients can have atypical presentation as no rash and no prodromal symptoms. These patients can be asymptomatic during the incubation period which is 5-21 days."

Unlike those who intentionally do not test themselves despite showing symptoms --- the asymptomatic ones are oblivious to the fact that they carrying a huge load of the virus and are equally capable of infecting other people.

The potential of an asymptomatic carrier is almost similar to a visible infected individual.

On Wednesday, the Union issued the 'Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease' and stated that human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through large respiratory droplets.

It can also be transmitted through direct contact with body fluids or lesions, and indirect contact with lesion material such as through contaminated clothing or linen of an infected person. Animal-to-human transmission may occur by bite or scratch of infected animals or through bushmeat preparation.

The incubation period is usually from six to 13 days and the case fatality rate of monkeypox has historically ranged up to 11 per cent in the general population and higher among children. In recent times, the case fatality rate has been around 3 to 6 per cent.

First Published: Wed, August 03 2022. 17:01 IST