Monkeypox May Cause Neurological Problems, Study Suggests – Though New US Cases Decline

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Monkeypox patients may experience neurological complications such as confusion and seizures in rare cases, while psychological problems are more common, a study published in eClinical Medicine found, amid an apparent slowdown in new monkeypox infections in the US.

Key facts

About 2.7% of patients diagnosed with monkey pox had at least one attack, while 2% had encephalitis, a serious brain inflammation that can cause long-term disability, according to researchers, who reviewed 19 studies involving a total of 1,512 participants in the US, Nigeria. , Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo and the United Kingdom.

Another 2.4% of patients experienced confusion, although researchers noted that most neurological problems occurred in patients hospitalized with the disease, with limited data available for milder cases.

Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, were more common in hospitalized patients, which may be due in part to disfiguring lesions that can be caused by monkeypox, as well as the stigma associated with the disease, researchers noted.

The researchers were unable to estimate how long these problems lasted, as most studies lacked sufficient information about the long-term follow-up of patients.

But the study suggests a need for “coordinated surveillance for such symptoms” and to be “vigilant for psychiatric symptoms” to ensure patients have access to good care, said study co-author Dr. James Badenoch, with Barts Health NHS Trust, who runs five hospitals in London.

What we don’t know

Exactly how monkeypox infections affect the brain. Researchers noted that symptoms of anxiety and depression are common in patients who are hospitalized and quarantined with an infectious disease, and viral infections can have profound psychological effects, such as fear, loss, discrimination and stigma. Researchers said more studies are needed to estimate the prevalence and longevity of neurological complications in monkeypox patients.

contrary

The monkeypox outbreak appears to be easing in the US as more vaccines become available and Americans take more steps to reduce the spread of the disease, officials said Wednesday. The U.S. had 1,699 new infections in the week ending Sept. 7, down 440 new cases from the week before, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Global cases are also declining, but the U.S. still has the highest number of monkeypox cases of any country in the world, with some 21,274 cases reported as of Sept. 7, according to CDC data.

key background

Previous research has found that the ongoing worldwide outbreak of monkeypox may lead to different types of symptoms than those reported in previous outbreaks, including rectal pain and penile swelling. The ongoing global outbreak is disproportionately affecting men who have sex with men, although anyone can become infected through close physical contact with contaminated material or a person who is infected. Deaths from the disease are rare, with some 17 deaths reported this year among more than 50,000 infections, according to the CDC. Local health officials are also investigating the death of a severely immunocompromised patient in Texas who was diagnosed with monkey pox, which could mark the first U.S. death in the ongoing outbreak. According to the World Health Organization, Monkeypox symptoms typically last two to four weeks. Both the WHO and the US have declared Monkeypox a public health emergency to better streamline responses to the disease and ramp up vaccination in the US. roll out of vaccines.

Tangent

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced Thursday that it is starting a new trial to test the effectiveness of administering the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine intradermally — the only shot approved by the Food and Drug Administration to protect against monkeypox. Called “dose-sparing” by White House officials, the new strategy allows health professionals to extract up to five doses from a single-dose Jynneos vaccine vial to deliver into the skin rather than a full dose into adipose tissue. . The federal government plans to enroll 200 people ages 18 to 50 who have not been vaccinated against smallpox or monkeypox.

large number

461,049. That’s how many vaccines have been administered in 35 US jurisdictions that share data with the CDC.

Read further

Monkeypox symptoms are different from past outbreaks, doctors warn (Forbes)

US monkeypox outbreak slows as vaccines become more accessible, health officials (CNBC) say