Monkeypox: Cut down on your sex partners to help fight the virus, WHO recommends
Dr Hans Kluge, head of WHO’s Europe department, has warned the current tropical disease outbreak ‘may be unstoppable’
The World Health Organization has recommended that people reduce their number of sexual partners to help fight the spread of monkeypox.
Dr Hans Kluge, head of WHO’s Europe department, warned the current outbreak of tropical diseases ‘may not be preventable’.
He warned Europe had become the new epicenter of the virus, with outbreaks linked to sexual transmission at parties and festivals on the continent.
Dr Kluge insisted the virus ‘will not require widespread population measures’ like Covid but said ‘important and urgent’ action is needed to prevent more cases.
WHO has stopped calling for people in contact with known cases to be isolated but called for ‘critical’ twice-daily temperature checks and ‘close monitoring’.
Dr Kluge says that while cases are concentrated in men who have sex with men, there is nothing stopping it from spreading to other groups.
The WHO earlier this week upgraded the global threat level to ‘medium’, warning that community spread could lead to patients or children being vulnerable to the virus, which also spreads. when touching or interacting with contaminated surfaces or clothing.
In total, there have been 606 confirmed cases of smallpox globally, with another 130 suspected since the first infection was detected in early May.
Around 70% of confirmed or suspected cases are in Europe, with the UK count currently at 190. Only Spain has more cases.
The LGBT Alliance – a group that advocates for the rights of transgender gay men – drew criticism on Monday after calling for the closure of all commercial sex venues ahead of Pride Month, which begins Monday. now.
The World Health Organization has recommended that people reduce their number of sexual partners to help fight the spread of monkeypox. Pictured: The Gran Canaria Pride Festival, held May 5-15 and attended by 80,000 people from the UK and across Europe, is being investigated after being linked to multiple smallpox cases in monkeys
Smallpox cases in UK monkeys rise to 190 as 11 more Brits test positive
Health officials announced another 11 cases of monkeypox were recorded in the UK yesterday.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the new patients were all in the UK, bringing the total number of patients in the UK to 190.
Officials say the ‘risk to the public from monkeypox remains low’ but they recommend anyone with a new rash or scabs to self-isolate.
For now, people with suspected or confirmed tropical disease are being urged to seek advice from NHS 111 or a sexual health service.
But officials said the move was to prevent further spread ‘now community transmission is happening here in the UK and other countries’.
Experts have previously linked the outbreak to two festivals in Europe: the Gran Canarian Pride Festival, held May 5-15, and a large-scale devotional festival in Antwerp, takes place from May 5 to May 8.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKSA) updated its own guidance on Monday night to require people to wear condoms during sex for eight weeks after the virus has been cleared.
Anyone in the UK with a new rash or blister is advised to isolate and call 111 – and not to isolate ‘until you’ve been told what to do’.
They were also asked to abstain from sex or close contact with others ‘until their wounds heal and the scabs dry’.
Dr Kluge said in a statement last night: ‘[Europe] remains the epicenter of the largest and most geographically widespread monkeypox outbreak ever reported outside of endemic areas in west and central Africa.
‘Based on case reports to date, this outbreak is now spreading through social networks that are connected largely through sexual activity, mainly involving men who have sex. homosexuality.
‘Many – but not all cases – report transient and/or multiple sexual partners, sometimes related to large events or parties.’
Dr Kluge said all young people, regardless of sex or gender, are at risk of contracting the virus and need to watch out for symptoms.
He said the gay and bisexual community had shown ‘rapid health-seeking behaviour’, adding that ‘we should applaud them’ for detecting symptoms early.
However, he warned festivals and parties planned in the coming months could lead to further viral outbreaks.
He said: ‘The possibility of further transmission in Europe and elsewhere during the summer is very high.
‘Monkeypox has spread amid some mass gatherings in [Europe].
‘In the coming months, many of the dozens of festivals and large parties are planned to provide additional contexts where amplification can occur.’
The WHO said event organizers should share ‘accurate, factual and targeted information’ with attendees during the summer.
The LGBT union released a statement calling for gay saunas to be shut down by Twitter on Monday.
In the statement, the group said: ‘Monkeypox is widespread and gay and bisexual men are disproportionately affected.
‘That’s why we’re calling for all commercial sex venues, such as saunas, skin/fetish bars and darkroom clubs to close for a month.’
Critics accuse the group of being homophobic, arguing the move will lead to stigma ahead of Pride month.
But the LGBA insists the move will help ‘save Pride’ by preventing major outbreaks just ahead of major events scheduled for the next four weeks.
Malcolm Clark, head of research at the LGBA, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘We were really lucky this time not to be another Aids, but what if that’s the case?
‘We complained about the stigma and still took our time. It seems that 30 years after HIV, we still haven’t learned anything.
‘It’s fortunate that this is a disease where nobody dies, but it could easily be another, it could easily get worse. We should thank our lucky stars. ‘
Andy Seale, from WHO’s HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Diseases division, on Monday said Pride parades pose less of a risk of spreading smallpox in monkeys.
He said most transmission was linked to ‘closed spaces’ such as nightclubs and there was no ‘elevated risk’ of transmission at annual celebrations.
Source: | This article originally belonged to Dailymail.co.uk