Monkeypox Outbreak: Asymptomatic infection can be a cause of concern, reveals study
New York, Aug 16: Monkeypox is transmitted by close contact with people who have symptomatic infection, and all those infected are assumed to show symptoms. But recent studies have revealed that people can be infected with monkeypox without showing any of the typical or atypical symptoms.
A study conducted in Belgium show that certain cases of monkeypox remain undiagnosed and asymptomatic. While The other study in France points out that the practice of "ring postexposure" vaccination around symptomatic persons with probable or confirmed monkeypox infection may not be sufficient to contain the spread.
Reacting to the studies, experts have called for the need for high-alert, surveillance, and strategies for the assessment of risk and prevention against the outbreak.
Titled "Restrospective detection of asymptomatic monkeypox virus infections among male sexual health clinic attendees in Belgium", the study suggests "a lack of recognised, clinical symptoms could play a role in virus transmission and the magnitude of the 2020 monkeypox virus outbreak".
"The magnitude of the 2022 multi-country monkeypox virus outbreak has surpassed any preceding outbreak. It is unclear whether asymptomatic or otherwise undiagnosed infections are fuelling this epidemic," said the article published in the medical journal Nature.
Another report from France was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine on August 16. The study aimed to assess the presence of the monkeypox virus in samples among asymptomatic MSM (men who have sex with men) routinely tested for bacterial sexually transmitted infections.
"Of the 187 asymptomatic participants who tested negative for the virus, 3 presented to our clinic more than 3 weeks after the initial monkeypox-negative anal swab with symptoms suggestive of monkeypox infection and tested positive," the report said.