Scientists have detected the first known case of someone simultaneously testing positive for Covid-19, HIV and monekypox.
Earlier this year, a 36-year-old man from Italy began to develop a number of symptoms, including a sore throat and a fever, over a week after returning from a five-day trip to Spain, during which he had had unprotected sex.
On 2 July, he then tested positive for Covid-19 and then began to notice blisters starting to appear across his face, his bum and his legs.
Worried about what was happening, on 5 July, he took himself to hospital in Palermo to see what was wrong.
After undergoing some tests, doctors discovered that he had contracted monkeypox and also tested positIve for HIV-1. He had previously tested negative for the virus back in September last year.
According to medics, 'given his preserved CD4 count, it was assumed the infection was relatively recent'.
The man spent just under a week in hospital and fully recovered from Covid and monkeypox, and was allowed to go home.
Researchers at the University of Catania said in a report that this was the only known case of a co-infection but that it indicates an overlapping of symptoms between monekypox and Covid.
They said: "This case highlights how monkeypox and Covid-19 symptoms may overlap, and corroborates how in case of co-infection, anamnestic collection and sexual habits are crucial to perform the correct diagnosis.
"To note, the monkeypox oropharyngeal swab was still positive after 20 days, suggesting that these individuals may still be contagious for several days after clinical remission.
"Consequently, physicians should encourage appropriate precautions."
The report added: "As this is the only reported case of monkeypox virus, SARS-CoV-2 and HIV co-infection, there is still not enough evidence supporting that this combination may aggravate patient’s condition.
"Given the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the daily increase of monkeypox cases, healthcare systems must be aware of this eventuality."
This comes after a report suggested the monkeypox virus could be mutating at a rate faster than scientists predicted.
Officially declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), monkeypox has spread to dozens of countries in what is being termed an 'extraordinary event' by experts.
Thousands of cases have been reported in Europe and North America, whereas the monkeypox virus is normally endemic in Western and Central Africa
As part of new research by Nature Medicine, scientists looked at the DNA strain of the current monkeypox virus and found it bore close relation to a strain behind a 2018-19 outbreak in Nigeria.
Scientists found that the virus mutated 50 times since the 2018-19 outbreak, and this mutation could help explain why the virus is spreading in parts of the world where it should be struggling more.