Infectious Disease Experts Call on Dentists to Monitor Monkeypox Symptoms
Infectious disease experts from St. Luke’s University Health Network are calling on dentists to watch out for oral lesions caused by monkeypox as the number of cases rises in the U.S.
1. Monkeypox symptoms include fever, muscle aches, lymph node swelling and rashes, and oral lesions are present in up to 70 percent of cases.
2. Jeffrey Jahre, MD, St. Luke’s University Health Network’s senior vice president of medical and academic affairs and section chief emeritus of infectious diseases, said in an Aug. 15 news release that early recognition by healthcare providers including dentists may help halt spread of the disease.
3. Wayne Saunders, DMD, chief of St. Luke’s oral & maxillofacial surgery department, said it is important for programs that train dental professionals to ensure students are aware of oral monkeypox symptoms and understand how to handle cases, according to the release.
4. Facial and intraoral lesions can vary in number and location and can be papules, pustules, clear vesicles, or open sores with or without scab formation.
5. Lesions can also resemble conditions such as cold sores, canker sores, lesions of hand-foot-mouth disease or trauma.
6. When suspicious lesions are present, St. Luke's said patients can then be referred to primary care providers or urgent care centers for more testing.
More information can be accessed by visiting Dental CE Academy, an AGD PACE nationally approved provider of live and on demand continuing education.