The agency is asking health care providers to look out for rashes among patients, but the nature of monkeypox rashes in recent cases has differed from what doctors have observed in the past in Africa — where the virus is endemic in 11 countries — the CDC said.
In some of the new cases, monkeypox has caused people to develop what looks like a pimple or blister, rather than a widespread rash, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a briefing. In other cases, tiny bumps on the skin are the first or only indication of an infection, she said.
“We have seen presentations of monkeypox that are mild and sometimes only [in] limited areas of the body, which differs from the classic presentations seen in endemic countries in West and Central Africa,” Walensky said. “This has prompted concern that some cases may go unrecognized or undiagnosed.”
Walensky said historically, patients have reported flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches and swollen glands. After that, “a characteristic, often diffuse rash appears on multiple sides of the body, often on the face, arms and hands.”