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Man Tests Positive for COVID-19, Monkeypox, and HIV

Monkeypox Virus
Man Tests Positive For Covid-19, Monkeypox, and HIV. Credit: NIAID CC BY-2.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The first known instance of a person testing positive for COVID-19, monkeypox, and HIV all at the same time has been documented by scientists.

Nine days after his return from a trip to Spain, where he had unprotected sex, the patient, a 36-year-old Italian man, began to experience numerous symptoms, including fatigue, fever, and a sore throat.

A case study report released in the Journal of Infection states that he initially tested positive for COVID-19 on July 2nd.

The man’s face, glutes, lower limbs, and torso all developed tiny, painful vesicles the next day. When the vesicles turned into pustules, which are little skin bumps, on July 5th, the man drove himself to a hospital in Palermo. He was examined there and given a positive monkeypox test result.

Also performed on the patient was an STI screening. “Given his preserved CD4 count, we could assume that the infection was relatively recent,” the researchers noted after learning that he tested positive for HIV-1.

In September of last year, the patient underwent an HIV test, which had come back negative.

The patient was discharged from the hospital on July 11th and was placed in home isolation after overcoming his monkeypox and COVID-19 infections. By this time, his skin sores had healed, crusted over, and only a faint scar remained.

Case Study on monkeypox, STIs, and COVID-19 symptoms done by researchers

In their case report, the researchers from the University of Catania said. “This case highlights how monkeypox and COVID-19 symptoms may overlap, and corroborates how, in case of co-infection, anamnestic collection and sexual habits are crucial to perform the correct diagnosis.”

The report also adds that “the monkeypox oropharyngeal swab was still positive after 20 days, suggesting that these individuals may still be contagious for several days after clinical remission. Consequently, physicians should encourage appropriate precautions.”

“As this is the only reported case of monkeypox virus, SARS-CoV-2, and HIV co-infection, there is still not enough evidence supporting that this combination may aggravate the patient’s condition,” researchers said. “Given the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the daily increase of monkeypox cases, healthcare systems must be aware of this eventuality.”

According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, more than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have been documented in ninety-two nations and territories as of August 17th.  The United States and Europe have seen the majority of documented instances of monkeypox.

Twelve deaths have been attributed to monkeypox, according to the head of the WHO. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says nations must concentrate on ensuring they are ready for monkeypox and thus employ public health measures to stop the virus’ spread.

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