Clinical features and management of individuals admitted to hospital with monkeypox and associated complications across the UK: a retrospective cohort study

Specialist and High Consequence Infectious Diseases Centres Network for Monkeypox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The scale of the 2022 global mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) outbreak has been unprecedented. In less than 6 months, non-endemic countries have reported more than 67 000 cases of a disease that had previously been rare outside of Africa. Mortality has been reported as rare but hospital admission has been relatively common. We aimed to describe the clinical and laboratory characteristics and outcomes of individuals admitted to hospital with mpox and associated complications, including tecovirimat recipients. Methods: In this cohort study, we undertook retrospective review of electronic clinical records and pathology data for all individuals admitted between May 6, and Aug 3, 2022, to 16 hospitals from the Specialist and High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network for Monkeypox. The hospitals were located in ten cities in England and Northern Ireland. Inclusion criteria were clinical signs consistent with mpox and MPXV DNA detected from at least one clinical sample by PCR testing. Patients admitted solely for isolation purposes were excluded from the study. Key outcomes included admission indication, complications (including pain, secondary infection, and mortality) and use of antibiotic and anti-viral treatments. Routine biochemistry, haematology, microbiology, and virology data were also collected. Outcomes were assessed in all patients with available data. Findings: 156 individuals were admitted to hospital with complicated mpox during the study period. 153 (98%) were male and three (2%) were female, with a median age of 35 years (IQR 30–44). Gender data were collected from electronic patient records, which encompassed full formal review of clincian notes. The prespecified options for data collection for gender were male, female, trans, non-binary, or unknown. 105 (71%) of 148 participants with available ethnicity data were of White ethnicity and 47 (30%) of 155 were living with HIV with a median CD4 count of 510 cells per mm3 (IQR 349–828). Rectal or perianal pain (including proctitis) was the most common indication for hospital admission (44 [28%] of 156). Severe pain was reported in 89 (57%) of 156, and secondary bacterial infection in 82 (58%) of 142 individuals with available data. Median admission duration was 5 days (IQR 2–9). Ten individuals required surgery and two cases of encephalitis were reported. 38 (24%) of the 156 individuals received tecovirimat with early cessation in four cases (two owing to hepatic transaminitis, one to rapid treatment response, and one to patient choice). No deaths occurred during the study period. Interpretation: Although life-threatening mpox appears rare in hospitalised populations during the current outbreak, severe mpox and associated complications can occur in immunocompetent individuals. Analgesia and management of superimposed bacterial infection are priorities for patients admitted to hospital. Funding: None.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-597
Number of pages9
JournalThe Lancet Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical features and management of individuals admitted to hospital with monkeypox and associated complications across the UK: a retrospective cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this