What is monkeypox: what are the symptoms and how it is transmitted – WHAT TO KNOW

What is monkeypox: what are the symptoms and how is it transmitted – WHAT TO KNOW

The Ministry of Health has activated a surveillance system with regions and autonomous provinces on cases of monkeypox and publishes a bulletin every Tuesday and Friday. The first case in Italy was confirmed on May 20, 2022.

World Health Organization declared Monkeypox (Monkeypox) a “global health emergency” on 23 July 2022 and made a series of recommendations. In Italy, the cases show a tendency to stabilize, the situation is under constant monitoring, and it is not believed that it should cause particular alarmism, as underlined by Gianni Rezza, director general of health prevention in the press release of 23 July.

Key points

  • * Symptoms of monkeypox usually include: fever, drowsiness, headache, body aches.
  • * The most frequent signs are: swollen lymph nodes and skin rashes or lesions.
  • * The rash usually begins within three days of the fever onset. The lesions may be flat or slightly raised, filled with clear or yellowish fluid, may crust, dry out, and fall off. Anogenital lesions predominate, followed by the trunk, arms and legs, face and palms of the hands and feet. The rash can also be found on the mouth, perigenital area and eyes.
  • * Symptoms typically last for 2 to 4 weeks and go away on their own without treatment.
  • * The virus is transmitted through close contact with a symptomatic case. The rash, body fluids (such as fluid, pus, or blood from skin lesions), and scabs are particularly infectious.
  • * Mouth ulcers, lesions, or sores can be infectious, and the virus can spread through saliva or through droplet (respiratory droplets) in case of prolonged face-to-face contact (health care workers, members of the same family and other close contacts of confirmed cases at greater risk).
  • * Monkeypox can also be transmitted by direct contact between lesions during sexual activities.
  • * Virus-contaminated clothing, bedding, towels, or dishes from an infected person can also infect other people.
  • * In order to protect themselves and others, the Ministry of Health in the Circular of 2 August 2022 provides that confirmed and suspected cases of MPX are put into self-isolation.
  • * Anyone with symptoms related to monkeypox should contact their doctor immediately.


  • Circular August 2, 2022 – Monkeypox Outbreak in Non-Endemic Countries: Case Definition Updates, Reporting, Contact Tracking and Case Management. Technical notes for laboratory diagnosis
  • Circular July 5, 2022 – Monkeypox. Multi-country outbreaks – update June 27, 2022
  • Circular May 25, 2022 – Cases of monkeypox. Update on the epidemiological situation and indications for reporting, contact tracing and case management
  • Epidemic events abroad

See also

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