As cases of monkeypox surge globally, the World Health Orgnisation (WHO) called on the group mostly affected which is men who have sex with other men to limit the number of their sexual partners.
During a briefing on Wednesday WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated more than 18000 monkeypox cases have been reported globally, with the majority of cases reported in Europe. Five deaths have been reported thus far, and about 10% of the cases have been admitted in hospitals for pain management.
He said the spread of the virus could be prevented if countries could take this seriously and begin implementing measures to reduce the risk of being infected.
“For men who have sex with men, this includes, for the moment, reducing your number of sexual partners, reconsidering sex with new partners and exchanging contact details with any new partners to enable follow-up if needed,” said Tedros.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week found that 98% of people who are infected with monkeypox were gay or bisexual men, and 95% of the cases were transmitted through sexual intercourse.
But experts said monkeypox is not only a sexually transmitted disease and can spread through any prolonged skin-to-skin contact as well as contaminated linens and bedding. The transmission of the disease which causes a blistering rash, appears to happen during closed physical contact, and monkeypox has so far not been labelled as a sexually transmitted infection. “Anyone exposed can get monkeypox,” Tedros said.
He urged countries to take action to reduce the risk of transmission to other vulnerable groups, including children, pregnant women and those who are immunosuppressed.”
Source: Eyewitness News, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Hill, The Economic Times, image from Twitter