'Considerable' monkeypox transmission happens before symptoms, study suggests

(VOVWORLD) - Monkeypox can spread before symptoms appear, UK researchers said this week, providing the first evidence indicating the virus can be transmitted this way.

'Considerable' monkeypox transmission happens before symptoms, study suggests - ảnh 1Test tubes labelled "Monkeypox virus positive" are seen in this illustration taken May 23, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS)

It was previously thought that monkeypox was almost entirely spread by people who were already sick, although pre-symptomatic transmission had not been ruled out and some routine screening had picked up cases without symptoms.

Monkeypox, a relatively mild viral illness that is endemic in several countries in western and central Africa, exploded around the world earlier this year, with outbreaks in dozens of countries where it had never previously appeared.

There have been almost 78,000 confirmed cases and 36 deaths since, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although cases have peaked in many countries, this week the World Health Organization said the outbreak still represented a global health emergency.

The virus is known to spread through close contact. and causes symptoms including fever, body aches and often painful pus-filled skin lesions.

The study raises questions over tackling monkeypox worldwide, including whether asking people to isolate when symptoms appear is enough to stop the virus spreading.