Warning to millions of people with eczema about an increased risk of a major viral illness

Warning to millions of people with eczema about an increased risk of a major viral illness

MILLIONS of people with eczema have been warned they are at risk of a virus causing global concern.

Around one in 10 adults in the UK has eczema and one in five children, according to charities.


The woman’s hand had a red and itchy rash, so she scratched it because of an insect bite or an allergy to some substance.Credit: Getty

An estimated 31.6 million other people in the United States also have eczema.

US health chiefs have warned people with the condition are most at risk of serious illness from monkeypox, as well as children under the age of eight.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “Anyone with immunosuppressive conditions or certain skin conditions, such as eczema, is at risk for serious monkeypox.”

He especially warned against young children with eczema, as well as teenagers and children with severe acne or psoriasis.

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People with skin conditions often have a weakened skin barrier, said Dr. Peter Lio, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

This can make it easier for bacteria or viruses to enter.

Dr Lio told The Healthy: “Monkeypox infections in people with eczema can behave similarly to eczema herpeticum or eczema vaccinatum, which pose serious health risks and require treatment immediate and possibly hospitalization”.

However, there is no need to panic, he said.

“It’s important to remember that monkeypox is generally mild and self-limiting.

“But if you’re in a higher-risk group and have a history of eczema or atopic dermatitis and/or people with eczema in your household, it’s important to take precautions to prevent the spread of monkeypox.”

His advice was to take extra precautions if you’re around someone with smallpox, including avoiding touching anything they have.

People with eczema should also be aware of how their rash differs from monkey pox, Dr. Lio said, so they can be aware if they become infected.

Monkeypox creates blisters with a “central crust”. The blisters are white and raised, become ulcerated and blistered.

Eczema causes a dry, itchy red rash. With scratching, sores may appear that bleed and then crust over.

Vaccine control

People with or who have had eczema are among those who should not get the monkeypox vaccine, as well as those who have HIV or are pregnant.

The smallpox vaccine contains live vaccine virus, not a dead or weakened virus like many other vaccines.

Eczema vaccinatum (EV) is a complication that sometimes occurs as a result of the smallpox vaccination, causing a painful rash and fever.

It can be fatal in some cases, according to Healthline.

People with eczema may also be told to avoid skin-to-skin contact for about 30 days with anyone who gets the sting.

Monkey pox outbreak

Men who have sex with other men are currently the priority groups to be vaccinated.

They have accounted for over 95% of cases so far, but it is not a “gay person’s disease”.

Anyone can get monkey pox through close skin-to-skin contact with someone who is infected or by touching their sheets or towels.

As of 4 August, there are 2,859 confirmed and highly probable cases of monkeypox in the UK.

But the outbreak is finally slowing down, the UK Health and Safety Agency (UKHSA) said last week.

Dr Meera Chand, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections, UKHSA, said: “While the most recent data suggests that the growth of the outbreak has slowed, we cannot be complacent.

“Keep an eye out and check for signs of monkeypox, including rashes and blisters.

“If you are concerned you may have symptoms of monkeypox, take a break from events, socializing with friends or having sex. Instead, stay at home and contact 111 or your local sexual health service for advice.

“The smallpox vaccine is given to people who are most at risk of coming into contact with smallpox in order to give them protection and reduce the spread of the disease.”

The signs of monkey pox


The signs of monkey pox

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