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An Introduction to Molluscum Contagiosum

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molluscum contagiosum

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  • Molluscum contagiosum refers to a skin condition caused by a poxvirus of the same name. People who have been infected develop lesions or bumps called mollusca on the upper layers of the skin
  • Globally, the incidence of molluscum contagiosum is said to range from 2 to 8 percent, and recent reports have indicated that the infection’s prevalence continues to rise. In the U.K., a 50 percent increase in molluscum contagiosum was observed between 1998 and 2008
  • Aside from outbreaks, high prevalence rates for molluscum contagiosum were also found among HIV-infected people, especially patients with CD4 cell counts that are lower than 200 to 250 cells per microliter of blood

Viruses of different kinds can cause numerous diseases, some of which can be irritating and even life-threatening. One such example is the poxvirus, which is a precursor to infections like molluscum contagiosum and monkeypox.1

What Is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum refers to a skin condition caused by a poxvirus of the same name. People who have been infected develop lesions or bumps called mollusca on the skin.2,3 Around 10 to 20 bumps may initially appear, although the number can increase if the person has a weak immune system or has been diagnosed with HIV.4

Children with molluscum contagiosum develop lesions on their genitals, face, chest, stomach, arms, armpit and legs. Sexually active teenagers and adults may also have lesions appearing on their genital area and their inner thighs.5

Just like the herpes simplex virus (HSV), molluscum contagiosum can spread from one person to another via sexual intercourse, when a person touches the lesions of an infected person. Sexual intercourse is one of the major reasons why this disease occurs in teenagers and adults.6

However, the most common way for the virus to be transmitted is by touching or coming into contact with the an infected person’s lesions,7 such as when adults participate in contact sports like football or wrestling.8

How Does Molluscum Contagiosum Affect People?

Globally, the incidence of molluscum contagiosum ranges from 2 to 8 percent,9 and recent reports have indicated that the infection’s prevalence continues to rise. In the U.K., a 50 percent increase in molluscum contagiosum was observed between 1998 and 2008. On the other hand, a 23 percent seroprevalence rate was documented in Australia,10 and as many as 20 percent of female sex workers from India are affected by this disease.11

Increasing cases of molluscum contagiosum may be linked to some regional outbreaks. For instance, in an outbreak that occurred in East Africa, lesions were found in 17 percent of the village population and in a whopping 52 percent of children 2 years old and older.12

High prevalence rates for molluscum contagiosum were also found among HIV-infected people, especially patients with CD4 cell counts that are lower than 200 to 250 cells per microliter of blood.13,14

Here’s What You Can Do to Combat This Infection

There are ways to prevent molluscum contagiosum from infecting you and your loved ones. These pages contain information regarding molluscum contagiosum, such as its other modes of transmission and hallmark symptoms. You’ll also discover the foods you should be eating if you have been infected, the natural remedies you can try to target the lesions and the most effective preventive techniques against the infection.

MORE ABOUT MOLLUSCUM CONTAGIOSUM

Molluscum Contagiosum: Introduction

What Is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum Contagiosum Symptoms

Molluscum Contagiosum Causes

Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment

Molluscum Contagiosum Prevention

Molluscum Contagiosum Diet

Molluscum Contagiosum FAQ


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What Is Molluscum Contagiosum?