Every Second Counts: Monkeypox Images in VisualDx Can Help Guide Diagnosis

Seemingly unconnected clusters of monkeypox are reported in the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Spain. Monkeypox is a rare zoonotic Orthopoxvirus infection that is clinically similar to smallpox. Look for a papular rash covering the face, trunk, and extremities that typically progresses through stages of vesiculation, pustulation, umbilication, and crusting.

The Latest Cases:

One individual had a recent travel history to Nigeria, but other confirmed patients had no known connection to this case and no travel history to endemic locations; in the United Kingdom, 2 cases occurred in individuals from the same household, and 4 cases occurred in individuals identifying as gay or bisexual or men who have sex with men. A case has also been reported in Massachusetts in a patient returning from Canada. Recent cases suggests there may be community transmission occurring through close contact, ie, large respiratory droplets, direct contact with skin lesions or bodily fluids, or indirect contact via contaminated clothing or linens.

Our Public Health Promise:

For more than 20 years, VisualDx has been used and trusted by frontline healthcare workers to treat infectious diseases. While VisualDx is used for day-to-day care issues such as medication reactions and common rashes, it also has broad applicability to the public health mission, covering not only pandemic flu, bacterial and viral infections including West Nile virus and other diseases of public health significance, but also sexually transmitted diseases, child abuse, MRSA, and infections in travelers and immunocompromised patients.

The VisualDx strategy is to assist clinicians with all diagnoses, not just the current crisis.

Read on for a story of how a physician in the Republic of the Congo used VsiualDx to diagnose monkeypox several years ago:

We had a young woman in her 20s with known HIV and TB present to the clinic with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), headache, fever, and a generalized papular rash, more prominent on the extremities and face than on the torso. There have been cases of monkeypox here before, but I had never seen it. I used VisualDx to look up a differential for the patient’s rash, as well as specifically monkeypox.

Interestingly enough, the diagnostic overview of monkeypox mentioned several outbreaks in the Likouala region of the Republic of Congo, which is where I am practicing. It is common here for people to eat monkey and Gambian rat, and the patient’s family reported eating the former. We reported our suspicions to the local health department, and someone was sent to obtain a sample for testing. It came back positive for monkeypox.

– Dr. Laura Foudy, Family Medicine Physician, Hôpital Evangélique, Republic of Congo


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Summary and diagnostic information on monkeypox is available as a Public Health Resource. Full information, including symptoms, differential diagnosis, best tests, and management pearls, is available with a VisualDx subscription.

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