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Corneal Physician Bulletin: CDC Reveals 5 Cases of Ocular Monkey Pox

Photo of patient who has HIV-associated immunocompromise and ocular monkeypox. Note the conjunctivitis and conjunctival lesion, seen early in the illness. Photo courtesy: Nathanael Adjei-Kyeremeh, via the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report detailing 5 cases of ocular monkeypox, identified between July and September 2022. As of the posting of this news item, close to 30,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Monkeypox, and 6 have died from it.
            Ocular monkeypox potentially causes blepharitis, conjunctivitis, eye pain, foreign body sensation, itching, keratitis, lesions near the eye, loss of vision, redness and swelling, and can occur when the Monkeypox virus is introduced in the eye (e.g., autoinoculation), according to the report. 
            Four of the five patients described in the report were hospitalized due to Monkeypox, and one experienced significant vision impairment. That patient’s vision recovery prognosis is unknown at this point, according to the CDC.
            All patients underwent treatment with tecrovirmat, and four were treated with topical trifluridine. Additionally, two of the patients had HIV-linked immunocompromise and experienced a lag between clinical signs and the start of treatment.
            The CDC acknowledges two limitations with these reported cases:
            1. The described cases may not be representative of all U.S. patients who have monkeypox.
            2. Not all these patients were tested for related ocular lesions or other ocular infections. 
            For the full report, visit https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7142e1.htmCP