Researchers from the University of Catania in Italy reported that a 36-year-old Italian man who went on a five-day trip to Spain in June contracted monkeypox, COVID-19, and HIV all at the same time. This makes him the first known case of co-infection of the three aforementioned viruses (According to Newsweek, there are “632.4 million people living with the three viruses individually”).
The researchers, who published the case in the Journal of Infection on August 19, stated that the unnamed patient reportedly developed symptoms like fever, a sore throat, fatigue, and headache nine days after returning from Spain. They added:
On the afternoon of the same day, a rash started to develop on his left arm. The following day small, painful vesicles surrounded by an erythematous halo appeared on the torso, lower limbs, face, and glutes. On 5 July, due to a progressive and uninterrupted spread of vesicles that began to evolve into umbilicated pustules, he went to the emergency department of the Policlinico ‘G. Rodolico – San Marco University Hospital in Catania, Italy, and was subsequently transferred to the Infectious Diseases unit.
Further, the researchers said in their 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.”
They added, “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.”
As of Wednesday, there have been over 594 million confirmed COVID-19 cases globally while as of last year, 38.4 million people were living with HIV worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Meanwhile, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported yesterday that there are around 44,503 monkeypox cases across the world so far.