An Italian man contracts Covid-19, monkeypox and HIV at the same time: here’s what doctors say about co-infections

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  • The Italian man’s case is unique, experts say, in that he developed all the symptoms of three illnesses.
  • Doctors say that people of any age group can be coinfected and its severity depends on the health and well-being of the patient.
  • Being co-infected does not necessarily mean that a patient cannot be cured, says Dr. RVS Bhalla in Fortis Escorts.

After a 36-year-old man in Italy was diagnosed with Covid-19, monkey pox Y HIV — Suddenly, concerns about coinfections have increased around the world.

The Italian man’s case is unique, experts say, in that he developed all the symptoms of three illnesses and also admitted to having unprotected sex while traveling abroad.

“This case highlights how the symptoms of monkeypox and covid-19 can overlap, and corroborates how in the event of coinfectionanamnestic collection and sexual habits are crucial to make the correct diagnosis, ”says the Journal of Infection, which released details of this case study.

The anamnestic collection refers to the medical history of a patient.

While the man’s case is the first of its kind in the world, two of the three diseases have been declared endemic and pandemic, indicating that all of these viruses are prevalent worldwide.

Although India does not have many cases of monkeypox, cases of swine flu and seasonal flu have increased, along with the very prevalent covid-19.

People with low immunity are more at risk

Doctors say that people of any age group can be coinfected and its severity depends on the health and well-being of the patient. People with low immunity are more vulnerable to getting multiple infections at the same time.

“Vulnerable groups of any age who have other serious health problems, such as heart or lung conditions, weakened immune systems, obesity, or diabetes, can be co-infected,” said Dr. Shahzad Mirza, associate professor at Dr. DY Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Center, Pune told Business Insider India.

Dr. Mirza further added that coinfection is actually related to the condition. “It happens more in immunosuppression, or patients admitted to the ICU or patients suffering from comorbidities, etc,” he said.

According to Dr. Sheela Murali Chakravarthy, director of internal medicine at Fortis Hospital in Bangalore, a person is likely to have a co-infection when they have an infection and spend more time in the hospital.

“The chances of co-infection are mainly when patients are overcrowded or in the ER or ICU or come into contact with other patients,” Dr. Murali told Business Insider India.

Does coinfection increase the risk of death?

Getting coinfection or multiple infections at the same time is definitely life-threatening as these viruses weaken the patient’s immunity.

“Co-infection can increase your risk of death because the more infections you have, the more likely you are to have complications,” said Dr. Laxman Jessani, an infectious disease specialist. Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, to Business Insider India.

However, a person with multiple infections does not necessarily mean that they cannot be cured. But they should also be much more careful.

“Double infections do not mean that the chances of reinfection are negligible. It is only possible if one receives proper treatment and care from the doctor and the hospital,” said Dr. RVS Bhalla, Director of Internal Medicine, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad.

People with co-infection should be treated under strict control and supervision.

“People with co-infections are more vulnerable to not recovering, however, people with multiple co-infections can also be well treated and make a full recovery, which obviously depends on the patient’s initial medical health, available facilities and the severity of different infections,” said Dr. Suranjit. Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi.

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