Monkey pox can cause vision loss and brain inflammation

A monkey pox It doesn’t usually cause serious health problems for those infected over the long term, but in children and patients in risk groups, researchers have previously linked the infection to vision problems and brain inflammation, known as the name encephalitis.

One of the main complications presented is conjunctivitis., which was present in 23% of patients identified during outbreaks between 2010 and 2013 in Congo. This feature was even more common in children under 10 who had symptoms such as a sore throat, nausea, and sensitivity to light.

When conjunctivitis is present, there is a risk of scarring that can lead to loss of vision. In a study that analyzed approximately 330 patients between 1981 and 1986 in what is now the Congo region, it was concluded that people infected by animals had more serious sequelae than those infected by other humans.

“Cases that can lead to blindness and inoculation of the virus into the eye do not happen to everyone. But, of all the consequences of monkeypox, this is perhaps the most common,” explains virologist Clarissa Damaso, from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO) committee for research on the smallpox virus, in an interview with Folha de S .Paulo.

The virologist explains that eye problems can occur when a person touches a bodily wound caused by monkeypox and then touches the eye without cleaning their hand first. She says this is because, as with illnesses like chicken pox, when the sores dry out they start to itch, and rubbing your eyes with your hands can be unintentional. Clarissa warns patients not to touch their eye in any way.


Another complication associated with monkeypox in previous studies is encephalitis, caused by a infection that leads to inflammation of the brain. During an outbreak of the disease in the United States in 2003, only one child in a family infected with the virus developed encephalitis, while the parents showed more common symptoms.

Early symptoms of encephalitis in young children are severe headache, drowsiness, compulsions, mental confusion, and motor difficulties. For the professor of graduate studies in infectious and parasitic diseases at UFRJ, Marzia Puccioni, parents and pediatricians must be aware of these symptoms.

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