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Monkeypox and the eye

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Monkeypox Virus – What are the eye problems associated with the new epidemic?
Monkeypox virus infection starts with fever, headache, swelling of the lymph nodes, back pain, body aches, and severe tiredness or lack of energy. This is followed by the appearance of a rash, most commonly on the face and limbs, including the palms and soles. It also affects the mouth, private parts and the eyes. After a few days, blisters develop in these areas.

In 20-30% of patients with monkeypox, the eyes show redness similar to what is seen in other conjunctivitis. There may be redness of lids and skin around the eyes and the lid skin may show blisters. The lymph nodes present in front of the ear usually swell up. There is a feeling of discomfort in bright light and watering. Later, the cornea may be affected in a small portion of patients, with serious problems like ulcer formation.

The disease lasts 2-4 weeks, and people affected by monkeypox should stay away from others for 4 weeks. People who have received smallpox vaccination in childhood may be protected against monkeypox to some extent, and they should care for monkeypox patients.

How to stay safe and prevent infection? Avoid close physical contact and prolonged proximity to suspected cases and those with a travel history to areas that have reported monkeypox spread. In case of symptoms resembling monkeypox, seek medical advice.

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