Doctors describe severe course: monkeypox patient's nose begins to rot

A 40-year-old man goes to the hospital with pustules on his face and a putrid nose.

Doctors describe severe course: monkeypox patient's nose begins to rot

A 40-year-old man goes to the hospital with pustules on his face and a putrid nose. The doctors quickly diagnose an infection with monkeypox. But this is not solely responsible for the condition of the man.

Big pustules on the face and a putrid nose: Doctors from the University Hospital Bonn have documented a particularly severe case of monkeypox in the journal "Infection". Accordingly, the patient described in the report went to his family doctor because of a red spot on the tip of his nose. He initially diagnosed sunburn in the 40-year-old. But when the nose turned black and started to rot within three days, the German went to the hospital. There, the doctors made a surprising diagnosis.

First, a PCR test confirmed monkeypox infection. Further examinations revealed a long-standing syphilis and an advanced HIV infection. According to the information, the man had never been tested for STDs before. The patient's immune system was severely weakened as a result of multiple exposure. This allowed the necrosis to develop on his nose.

"Most cases of monkeypox infection have been reported as mild, and controlled HIV infection does not appear to be a risk factor for severe disease," the researchers write. "However, this case illustrates the potential severity of monkeypox infection in the context of severe immunosuppression and untreated HIV infection."

To treat the man, the doctors prescribed the drug Tecovirimat against monkeypox for a week. He was also given an antibiotic for syphilis and antiretroviral therapy to contain the HIV virus in his body, the article says. The measures were effective. The monkeypox pustules on the skin dried up and the swelling on the nose went down. The doctors did not provide any further information on the man's recovery.

(This article was first published on Thursday, August 18, 2022.)

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