Monkeypox: Scientists call for genome sequencing, monitoring patients for herpes

There is fear that herpes, which was predominantly seen among 60-plus people, will also be found among people infected with monkeypox.

By KANIZA GARARI  Published on  28 July 2022 6:10 AM GMT
Monkeypox: Scientists call for genome sequencing, monitoring patients for herpes

Are superspreader events leading to the monkeypox virus?

Originated from Europe, Monkeypox has now spread to 70-plus countries. India too has four cases

The virus has spread mostly through the human-to-human transmission of contact of skin, sex, and droplets.

Scientists say genome sequencing is the way forward in understanding the spread of the disease. Kerala health department has isolated two genomes of the monkeypox virus which are being studied by ICMR.

All the cases have the lineage of B.1 in MPV. There is also a cluster of A.2 MPV.

Vinod Scaria, a scientist at CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology said: "The present sustained human-to-human transmission is believed to happen from Europe with 16000 plus cases. Genome sequencing suggests that we might be looking at a distinct cluster of human-to-human transmission and possibly unrecognized for years."

Experts said that the monkeypox virus has been predominantly noted in those who are sexually active. For this reason, they are also prone to herpes which would be a secondary infection.

Emergence of Herpes due to Monkeypox and Covid 19

Due to the immune-compromised state of the human body, the varicella-zoster virus that causes herpes becomes active. It is a dormant virus hiding in the central nervous system of the body. It is the same virus that causes chicken pox. It is usually found to attack with low immunity.

There is fear that herpes, which was predominantly seen among 60-plus people, will also be found among people infected with monkeypox.

Osmania Medical College study on Covid 19 and Herpes

Covid 19 too led to an immune-compromised state and those who were admitted to the intensive care unit were monitored for herpes. Preventive medication was provided to many patients stated Dr. K Ramdas, the senior dermatologist at Kamineni Hospitals.

"We have been seeing herpes cases in those who were less than 60 years of age in the last two years of the pandemic," Dr. Ramdas said,

A documented study by Osmania Medical College of herpes and Covid 19 in a 38-year-old-woman in Hyderabad is a case to note. The woman had no history of cough, cold or high-grade fever. She rushed to the hospital as there were 20 sites on the trunk with fluid-filled lesions. RT-PCR showed Covid 19 positive. During treatment, she succumbed to the disease.

The study is published in the Indian Dermatology Journal in March 2022.

Continue monitoring for Herpes

Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists, and Leprologists said during the pandemic they were monitoring patients for herpes and will have to continue doing the same with the monkeypox virus.

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