Less than a week after recent cases of Monkeypox were reported in the U.S., throughout Europe and more, the World Health Organization now has information about how the contagious virus is being spread. In a recent update, the World Health Organization has officially determined that the Monkeypox outbreak is primarily being spread through sexual activity—and specifically links it to “party events” where men had intimate contact with other men.
@CNBC reports, while addressing the recent outbreak of Monkeypox in North America and Europe, the World Health Organization said that the highly-contagious virus is mostly spreading through sex involving men who sleep with other men—specifically highlighting around 200 confirmed and suspected cases throughout at least a dozen countries. @AP spoke with Dr. David Heymann, the former head of the WHO Emergencies Department, said that new findings have traced the Monkeypox outbreak to raves that were held in Spain and Belgium where sexual activity among men who sleep with other men was high.
“We know monkeypox can spread when there is close contact with the lesions of someone who is infected, and it looks like sexual contact has now amplified that transmission,” said Heymann. WHO officials stated that although Monkeypox is not classified as a sexually transmitted infection, the latest spike in cases appears to be spread among men who have sex with other men, but they also made it clear that anyone can contract Monkeypox regardless of their sexual orientation or identity.
Andy Seale, a WHO advisor that specializes in HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, spoke about the new findings regarding the outbreak. “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,” he said.
Additionally, Dr. Rosamund Lewis, Head of Smallpox Research at WHO, pointed out the speed at which the Monkeypox virus is traveling throughout the world. Dr. Lewis stated, “We’ve seen a few cases in Europe over the last five years, just in travelers, but this is the first time we’re seeing cases across many countries at the same time in people who have not traveled to the endemic regions in Africa.” WHO is set to hold another meeting within the next week to study the risks and discuss treatments available to combat it.
Based on information from the CDC, Monkeypox is spread through close contact with people, animals or materials that are infected. The virus is transmitted through broken skin, the respiratory tract, the eyes, nose and mouth.
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