New Delhi: In a first such known case, a man in Italy has tested positive for Covid-19, Monkeypox and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) at the same time, according to a report published in the Journal of Infection. The 36-year-old man returned home from a five-day trip in Spain in June this year. After nine days, he developed fever, sore throat, fatigue, headache and inflammation of the groin area, according to the report.
The man tested positive for Covid-19 after three days of experiencing the symptoms. Sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 genome confirmed that he was infected with the Omicron sub-variant BA.5.1.
The man was vaccinated for Covid-19 with two doses of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine.
He later developed a rash on his left hand and painful blisters all over his body. He was admitted to the emergency department at the San Marco University Hospital in Catania, Italy, and then transferred to the Infectious Diseases Unit.
At the hospital, the patient tested positive for monkeypox and admitted that he had “condomless intercourse with men during his stay in Spain”. He also subsequently tested positive for HIV.
After recovering from Covid-19 and monkeypox, the man was discharged from the hospital a week later.
“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,” it added.
The case was published in the Journal of Infection on August 19.
The researchers further 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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