The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a pair of encephalomyelitis cases associated with monkeypox in previously healthy young men in Colorado and Washington, D.C.
According to the CDC, encephalomyelitis is a brief but widespread attack of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. The symptoms developed 5-9 days after the onset of monkeypox, the CDC noted.
In most cases, monkeypox is painful but not life-threatening.
Typical symptoms of monkeypox include a rash, fever, malaise, headache, and muscle aches.
While general monkeypox symptoms cleared up in both cases within several weeks, both men suffered neurological problems well after.
The CDC said the patient in Colorado was in his 30s and developed progressive left upper and lower extremity weakness and numbness, urinary retention, and intermittent priapism, and was hospitalized. He was discharged to outpatient rehabilitation therapy and was ambulatory with an assistive walking device at a 1-month follow-up. The man was also referred to outpatient neurosurgery, the CDC said.
The other patient, also in his 30s, developed bowel and bladder incontinence and progressive flaccid weakness of both lower extremities and was hospitalized. He was speaking and following commands and had improvement in his lower extremity weakness after treatment.
On Monday, officials confirmed one of the first monkeypox-related deaths in the U.S. Health officials in California said the person was severely immunocompromised.