So far there has only been one case of monkeypox in Switzerland. However, the fear is that there will be significantly more in the foreseeable future. In order to be able to assess the chains of transmission and, if necessary, take measures, it is important that the population knows what to look out for.
An illness has four stages, as the German intensive care doctor Marc Bota tweeted:
1. Incubation phase
The incubation phase can be between 5 and 21 days, in most cases it is between 6 and 13 days, the doctor writes.
2nd fever stage
This is followed by the fever phase. This usually lasts 1 to 4 days. It is accompanied by fever, body aches and sore throats, fatigue and swelling of the lymph nodes. The swelling almost always occurs and is a good distinguishing feature from chickenpox.
The rash occurs in several phases. At first, it can be difficult to differentiate from other skin conditions, writes Botas. Unlike chickenpox and measles, the skin lesions are typically at the same stage, while all stages are seen in chickenpox and measles. The changes were also much slower and could last up to a month.
Another distinguishing feature is the pattern:
Measles also usually started on the face and spread from there. Furthermore, so-called Koplik spots occur with measles, which would never occur with monkeypox. Swelling of the lymph nodes in measles is rather atypical.
Monkeypox could also be recognized by the small blisters, called vesicles in technical jargon. They are filled with fluid, with a central dent, writes the doctor.
Later, the lesions would crust over and heal, writes Botas. In the worst case, scars can remain. If the eyes are affected, it can lead to blindness in the worst case. If all lesions are crusted and there are no more symptoms, the patient is no longer contagious.
Bota also writes about how monkeypox can be tested:
So far there has been one case of monkeypox in Switzerland. The Federal Office of Public Health assumes that more will follow, as it writes on a Blick request. Infection is usually mild. Sometimes, however, it can also lead to more severe symptoms or even death, the BAG reports.
They are currently waiting for recommendations from the ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control) in order to adjust their own recommendations if necessary. (of)