MonkeyPox Pictures: The CDC encourages anyone who develops “a new and unexplained skin rash” anywhere on the body to seek immediate medical attention and avoid contact with others.
Up until a few months ago, most people in the US had never heard of monkeypox, let alone how to identify it.
Nonetheless, as the number of cases continues to rise, knowing how the disease may present on the skin can help guide you toward a diagnosis or allay unnecessary fears.
Conferring to the most recent data, there have been more than 9,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the US; worldwide, figures exceed 31,000 patients in 89 countries, most of which have historically not reported cases of monkeypox.
What Do Monkeypox Lesions Look Like?
Here the Monkeypox virus is a type of orthopoxvirus. While monkeypox is related to smallpox, caused by the smallpox virus, it is much milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.
In addition, neither monkeypox nor smallpox is related to chickenpox, which is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
Illnesses caused by poxviruses usually cause lesions, skin nodules, or skin rashes.
Specifically, in monkeypox, lesions can morph or change throughout a person’s infection. While flu-like symptoms usually appear first, a person will develop sores that go through five distinct stages.
According to Thomas Russo, MD professor and chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University at Buffalo.
- The macules will begin to rise and become papules. In this stage can also last up to two days.
- Once the lesions have turned into blemishes, they will fill with a clear fluid. It signifies the vesicular stage of monkeypox lesions.
- It is at this stage that the lesions resemble blisters. Lesions may remain in the vesicular stage for up to two days.
- Once the clear fluid within the blisters turns opaque, the lesions have reached the pustular stage. “The fluid from the blisters becomes cloudy,” Dr. Russo told Health.
- As a result, the bumps are usually round and hard to the touch.
- At some point, those bumps will break through the junction, where “they have a depressed dome on top of them,” Dr. Russo said.
- This stage can last five to seven days before the lesions begin to scab over.
Does this Typically Occur on the Body?
In calculation to showing up in non-endemic countries, the way monkeypox is present in the body also different from what researchers have historically known about the disease.
- “The rash that we used to see broke out all at once, so one person tended to have lesions that were all at the same stage of the disease.
- In the traditional sense,” said Kelly Gebo, MD, MPH professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, told Health. “Currently, we’re seeing people presenting with injuries at several different stages.”
- Lesions from this outbreak also appear in unusual places on the body.
- “The traditional places where we’ve seen this, on the face and often on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, are different,” said Dr. Gebo.
- “Now we see people who have them in the genital region, including mucous membranes, such as the rectum or the mouth.”
- The ultimate wild card regarding monkeypox injuries in this outbreak is the number of sores people seem to develop.
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