Public health measures – such as enhanced testing and education – should be developed and implemented working with at-risk groups to ensure that they are appropriate, non-stigmatising, and to avoid messaging that could drive the outbreak underground, the experts added.
Chloe Orkin, Professor of HIV Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and Director of the SHARE collaborative, said: “Viruses know no borders and monkey pox infections have now been described in 70 countries and in more than 13000 people. This truly global case series has enabled doctors from 16 countries to share their extensive clinical experience and many clinical photographs to help other doctors in places with fewer cases.
We have shown that the current international case definitions need to be expanded to add symptoms that are not currently included, such as sores in the mouth, on the anal mucosa and single ulcers. These particular symptoms can be severe and have led to hospital admissions so it is important to make a diagnosis. Expanding the case definition will help doctors more easily recognise the infection and so prevent people from passing it on.
“Given the global constraints on vaccine and anti-viral supply for this chronically underfunded, neglected tropical infection, prevention remains a key tool in limiting the global spread of human monkeypox infection.”