Can you be asymptomatic with monkeypox? Experts answer

Right! The asymptomatic case with monkeypox is a reality.

These patients may present atypically with no rash and no regrettable symptoms. These patients may be asymptomatic for an incubation period of 5-21 days, explains Dr Monalisa Sahu, Consultant Infectious Diseases, Yashoda Hyderabad Hospital, adding that in very rare cases , they may have minor symptoms that may not be obvious and go unnoticed, and eventually land in complications such as encephalitis; this draws our attention to the fact that asymptomatic cases are likely to be equivalent to symptomatic cases in terms of disease transmission.

However, due to the fact that they do not show symptoms, it is difficult to determine their presence and therefore it is difficult to find out the nature of the transmission caused by them.

If you have good immunity and less virus enters your body, you may not have symptoms but that doesn’t mean you can’t spread the disease, Dr. Mahesh Kumar, Specialist Consultant, Internal Medicine, Narayana Health City said. People who have been exposed to the virus for several minutes may be asymptomatic and pose a major threat to the public.

Several studies have also shed light on asymptomatic monkeypox cases. A recent study found that three men tested positive for monkeypox without exhibiting any symptoms. “All three men denied having any symptoms in the weeks before and after the sample was taken. None of them reported exposure to a diagnosed case of monkeypox, nor did any of their contacts develop clinical monkeypox,” the study said.

The nature of the asymptomatic cases and the severity with which they can spread the infection are still unknown. The WHO in its latest update on monkeypox said that the extent to which asymptomatic infection can occur remains unknown.

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