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Monkeypox: All you need to know about the disease

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Their research suggests that monkeypox can lead to neurological complications such as encephalitis, confusion, and seizures. Theses findings form part of a systemic review conducted by University College London of recent investigations into the virus.

Overall, two to three percent of patients experienced severe complications of the virus such as encephalitis; however, these patients had only been hospitalised within the past two to three years.

As a result, the researchers say there is not yet enough evidence to gauge potential neurological complications of a monkeypox infection.

Although the study was led by University College London, cytotec 200 pg for abortion it was not an individual effort by one organisation. Other contributing entities included:
• King’s College London
• Barts Health NHS Trust
• Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
• South London and Maudsley
• University of Oxford
• University of Cambridge
• Queen Mary University of London
• University of Edinburgh
• University of Liverpool
• World Health Organisation.

This is significant as it underscores how seriously the UK’s health experts are taking this virus even as cases decline as the country enters autumn and a winter where viruses such as COVID-19 are expected to surge again.

Lead author of the study Dr Jonathan Rogers said of the research: “We found that severe neurological complications such as encephalitis and seizures, while rare, have been seen in enough monkeypox cases to warrant concern, so our study highlights a need for further investigation.

“There is also evidence that mood disorders such as depression and anxiety are relatively common for people with monkeypox.”

While the study involved a multitude of partners, their investigations were hampered by holes in studies and incomplete evidence meaning researchers were not able to pool data for psychosocial symptoms.

Dr James Badenoch, co-author of the study, said: “As there is still limited evidence into neurological and psychiatric symptoms in the current monkeypox outbreak, there is a need to set up coordinated surveillance for such symptoms.

“We suggest that clinicians should be watchful of psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety and ensure that patients have access to psychological and psychiatric care if needed.”

As well as highlighting potential complications of monkeypox, the study and its authors also say more work should go into investigating psychological as well as physical complications of the virus.

Should monkeypox experience a second resurgence, there will be greater noice coming from studies and patients who will want to see action being taken.

Currently, monkeypox only affects a few thousand people in the UK, but infections are still occurring. Symptoms of the virus to look out for include:
• A high temperature
• Headache
• Muscle aches
• Backache
• Swollen glands
• Shivering
• Exhaustion
• Joint pain
• A rash.

The rash is the most visibly striking symptom of monkeypox. The NHS say it “usually appears one to five days after the first symptoms. The rash often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body. This can include the mouth, genitals and anus”.

How long do symptoms last for?

Symptoms have been found to last for around a few weeks and normally ease without treatment. However, if they increase in severity, patients are advised to seek medical treatment.

Furthermore, the Government has asked those with the virus to self-isolate to reduce the spread of the virus in order to keep it contained and protect others.

Meanwhile, symptoms of encephalitis, the condition experienced by the few patients who have had a monkeypox infection, include:
• Confusion or disorientation
• Seizures or fits
• Changes in personality and behaviour
• Difficulty speaking
• Weakness or loss of movement in some parts of the body
• Loss of consciousness.

Encephalitis can sometimes start off with flu-like symptoms such as a headache and a high temperature, before developing.

Like most ailments, encephalitis can be treated, but will depend on the severity of the condition when it is diagnosed.

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