A poor man has returned from Spain with an awful triple threat of monkeypox, Covid-19 and HIV.
The 36-year-old from Italy is understood to be the first patient in the world to test positive for all three illnesses at the same time, following his diagnoses last month.
Scientists say that within nine days of getting home from a holiday of unprotected sex, the man started to develop concerning symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and a sore throat.
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According to a case study report published in the Journal of Infection, the man's first test to return a positive result was coronavirus on July 2.
Then the very next day he noticed almost his entire body from his chest and legs to face and bottom had begun to flare up with small, painful vesicles surrounding a rash.
It was not until the vesicles had spread even further and evolved into pustules – small bumps on the skin – on July 5, that the man sought medical attention at hospital in Palermo.
It was there that his symptoms were proven to be of monkeypox.
As if having two diseases at the same time was not bad enough, while in hospital, the 36-year-old Italian was screened for multiple STIs which revealed he also had HIV-1.
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Researchers in the report said that “given his preserved CD4 count, we could assume that the infection was relatively recent,” a verdict supported by the fact he had previously tested negative for HIV last September.
The unlucky bloke was kept in hospital until July 11 once he had recovered from Covid-19 and his monkeypox skin lesions had healed by crusting over to leave a small scar.
The researchers, from the University of Catania, said in their case 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.
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“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,” the report said. “Consequently, physicians should encourage appropriate precautions.”
The researchers added: “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 patient’s condition.
"Given the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the daily increase of monkeypox cases, healthcare systems must be aware of this eventuality.”
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