CDC: Monkeypox Can Lead to Brain Inflammation

According to a recent report released by the CDC’s Monkeypox Emergency Response Team, the monkeypox virus can cause neurologic problems such brain inflammation.

In Colorado and Washington, DC, public health experts discovered two cases of encephalomyelitis in young men who had previously been healthy and were connected to monkeypox. A transient but severe case of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord is known as encephalomyelitis.

In the two cases, indications of brain inflammation appeared five to nine days after monkeypox first appeared.

The 30-year-old guy from Colorado initially had fever, chills, exhaustion, and a rash; he later tested positive for monkeypox. He experienced growing numbness and weakness in his left upper and lower extremities nine days later. Additionally, he occasionally experienced longer erections and suffered urine retention.

Brain scans performed while the patient was in the hospital revealed signs of encephalomyelitis, and the usual sources of brain inflammation were eliminated. He received immunoglobulin infusions for his immune system, steroids for inflammation, and tecovirimat, the antiviral medication for monkeypox known as TPOXX. He also received a plasma exchange due to worries about spinal cord inflammation, which reduced symptoms.

After being admitted to the hospital, he underwent outpatient rehab therapy and utilised a walking aid for around a month. In addition, the CDC reported that he was sent for persistent spinal cord inflammation to outpatient neurosurgery.

The patient in Washington, DC, who was also in his 30s, initially displayed symptoms of monkeypox including a fever, rash, and muscle soreness. He struggled to control his bowel and urine five days later, and both of his legs began to weaken.

His condition deteriorated during his hospital stay for the first two days, and he displayed changed mental status and decreased awareness. Brain scans revealed encephalomyelitis after he was sent to the intensive care unit. He also had plasma exchange, tecovirimat, steroids, and immunoglobulin infusions. Due to the plasma exchange, he significantly improved, and after five sessions, he was once again able to communicate and obey orders.

He was sent to inpatient rehab after being released from the hospital, where he used a walking aid. Rituximab, a monoclonal antibody drug, was administered to him as part of immunosuppressive therapy.

According to the CDC, monkeypox is typically uncomfortable but not fatal. The typical signs and symptoms are a distinctive rash, fever, exhaustion, headache, and muscle discomfort. But if someone has a compromised immune system, certain major issues may arise.

The first monkeypox-related death in the United States was confirmed on Monday by public health officials in Los Angeles County. The person’s immune system was significantly damaged.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a health care worker who was exposed at work on Tuesday became the first person in the nation to contract monkeypox.

Rita Singhal, MD, MPH, chief medical officer for the L.A. County Department of Public Health, informed city authorities during a meeting that “We have identified a health care worker with monkeypox who looks to have been exposed to the virus at their employment.”

According to her, this is the first instance of monkeypox in a health care worker in the country that was brought on by exposure at work.

The newspaper reported that health department representatives said they communicated with the CDC about the case but declined to provide any additional information regarding the condition of the healthcare worker or how the exposure happened. Singhal stated that public health officials will provide medical practitioners with information on infection prevention, including recommendations for personal protective equipment, while reiterating that the danger for healthcare workers “remains quite low.”

According to the publication, Los Angeles County has one of the highest numbers of instances of monkeypox in the country with 1,900 cases reported. According to the most recent CDC data, California tops the states with 4,300 cases, followed by New York with 3,700.

Globally, the United States has recorded the most instances with 22,630, followed by Spain and Brazil, each with close to 7,000 cases. According to the most recent CDC data, more than 59,000 cases—including 19 fatalities in 10 countries—have been documented across 102 nations.

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