CASES of monkeypox are continuing to rise globally, with experts warning that new skin symptoms have been identified.
Typical signs of the illness usually include a fever – along with swelling of the lymph nodes.
But a new review of 185 cases published in the British Journal of Dermatology has found otherwise.
Medics have now stated that the most common signs of this outbreak are rare pseudo-pustules.
These are similar in appearance to pustules, with the main difference being that they are white and solid.
With standard pustules, most of the time you can scrape away the top layer of the lesion, in order to get to the pus.
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However, with pseudo-pustules this isn’t possible and experts say that these lesions can lead to ulcers.
The medics state that this discovery is ‘important’ as very few diseases produce this type of reaction.
Dr Ignacio García Doval, the coordinator of the research from the Spanish Academy of Dermatology said a crucial part of the outbreak is having as much information as possible.
“Our research shows that the symptoms of the current outbreak are unusual and there is evidence that this is due to skin-to-skin contact during sex.
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“Rather than the typical widespread rash seen in past cases, recent cases tend to have far fewer skin lesions, often in one location.
“It is particularly important for healthcare professionals to note the appearance of these skin lesions.
“Monkeypox is often described as causing pustules, pus-filled lesions, but in this outbreak, the main skin symptom is actually pseudo-pustules, white, solid papules which look like pustules, but which don’t contain any pus.
“This feature is very rare in other diseases, so is a very clear sign of monkeypox.”
He added that no patient in the research died and that hospitalisation was uncommon.
However he added that the disease is very uncomfortable and can have long-term consequences, including scarring in visible areas.
The study comes as two deaths have been recorded in Europe.
In the UK cases have risen up to 2,469 confirmed infections on July 28.
Medics have also recorded 77 “highly probable” infections, bringing the total to 2,546.
But Spain has been particularly badly-hit by the disease, where health chiefs have recorded 4,298 cases so far.
Now medics have said more deaths are expected as the bug continues to spread.
Senior emergency officer at World Health Organization (WHO) Europe, Catherine Smallwood said: “Our goal needs to be on interrupting transmission quickly in Europe and stopping this outbreak.
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“With the continued spread of monkeypox in Europe, we will expect to see more deaths.
“We know that although the disease is self-limiting in most cases, monkeypox can cause severe complication,” she added.