WHO Official Says Monkeypox Is Primarily Spreading Through S*x
An outbreak of the monkeypox virus in North America and Europe is primarily spreading through s*x among men with about 200 confirmed and suspected cases across at least a dozen countries, World Health Organization officials said Monday.
The outbreak has quickly advanced across Europe and North America over the last week and is expected to be far more widespread as more doctors look for the signs and symptoms.
Two confirmed and one suspected case of monkeypox in the U.K. were reported to the WHO just 10 days ago, the first cases this year outside of Africa where the virus has generally circulated at low levels over the last 40 years, the organization said.
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While the virus itself is not a sexually transmitted infection, which are generally spread through semen and vaginal fluids, the most recent surge in cases appears to have been spread among men who have sex with other men, WHO officials said, emphasizing that anyone can contract monkeypox.
“Many diseases can be spread through sexual contact. You could get a cough or a cold through sexual contact, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a sexually transmitted disease,” said Andy Seale, who advises WHO on HIV, hepatitis and other sexually transmitted infections.
The virus is spread through close contact with people, animals or material infected with the virus. It enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, the eyes, nose and mouth. Though human-to-human transmission is believed to occur through respiratory droplets as well, that method requires prolonged face-to-face contact because the droplets cannot travel more than a few feet, according to the CDC.
“This is a virus that is super stable outside the human host, so it can live on objects like blankets and things like that,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC in a separate interview Monday. “And so you can see situations where people become reluctant to try on clothing, things like that, where it could become disruptive in areas where this is spreading, like New York City.”
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