Triple threat: Italian man tests positive for monkeypox, Covid-19 and HIV at the same time

This is the first reported case of such a simultaneous infection

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

By Web Desk

Published: Fri 26 Aug 2022, 1:10 PM

In a first, an Italian man reportedly tested positive for monkeypox, HIV and Covid-19 at the same time. The 36-year-old experienced fever, a sore throat, and fatigue after returning home from his five-day trip to Spain in June this year, reported BNO News.

He tested positive for Covid-19 three days after first experiencing the symptoms.

Following this, the man began to develop a rash on his left hand, and painful blisters on other parts of the body. He also developed severe rashes on his face and other body parts, followed by the formation of pustules.

Given the severity of the condition, the man then visited a hospital's emergency department, where he was subsequently referred to the infectious disease unit for admission.

A detailed report of his unique case was published in the Journal of Infection on August 19.

The patient's (whose name is so far undisclosed) test report confirmed the presence of monkeypox. He also tested positive for HIV. Moreover, sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 genome confirmed that he was infected with the Omicron sub-variant BA.5.1 as well. According to the paper, the man was vaccinated for coronavirus with two doses of Pfizer's mRNA vaccine.

The man was discharged from the hospital after nearly a week. He recovered from Covid-19 and monkeypox, although a small scar remained. The treatment for his HIV infection was initiated, according to an NDTV report.

"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," researchers from the University of Catania said, in their case report.

"To note, 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," the report added.

This was the first such reported case of a simultaneous infection of Covid-19, monkeypox and HIV.

Monkeypox has officially been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), with a dozen countries reporting cases of it. Nearly 32,000 monkeypox cases have been logged worldwide since the latest outbreak started in May. Over 3,000 patients have been diagnosed in the UK and 10,000 in the US.


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