Antiviral drugs may reduce Monkeypox symptoms, claims Lancet study

A study published recently in Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal has shown that some antiviral medications may be able to lessen the symptoms of monkeypox.

These medications can reduce the amount of time the patient is contagious, says the study conducted on seven patients diagnosed with this rare viral disease in the United Kingdom between 2018 to 2021.

Doctor Hugh Adler of UK's Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust recently said that healthcare professionals are trying to find out why the recent monkeypox outbreaks is happening in Europe and North America.

Currently, the outbreak has impacted several patients who neither reported any travel nor any recognized link to the earlier known case.

The Lancet study provides some of the first insights for using antivirals for treating monkeypox in humans. Dr. Adler, the lead author of the paper, said that although this latest outbreak has impacted more patients than they had earlier encountered in the United Kingdom, monkeypox has not transferred very efficiently between people, and generally, the risk to public health is low.

Out of the seven monkeypox cases investigated in the study, four were traded from West Africa, with three further cases happening due to human-to-human transmission.

At present, there are no prescribed treatments for monkeypox, and there is limited data on the duration of the contagiousness. The development period varies from 5 to 21 days.

Furthermore, the study authors witness clinical data alongside the laboratory results from the blood tests and nose and throat swabs to define monkeypox's duration and clinical features in a high-income setting.

Researchers are also reporting patients' response to antiviral medications developed for treating smallpox – tecovirimat and brincidofovir, which has earlier showcased some efficacy against monkeypox in animals.

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