Experts highlight the sexual aspect of monkeypox spread

Experts highlight the sexual aspect of monkeypox spread

Today at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting, researchers outlined the sexual transmission component of the monkeypox outbreak that affected hundreds of people – mostly men who have sex with men – in at least 27 countries outside Africa.

Experts also noted that the virus has been circulating in Europe since at least April, and emphasized what the scientific community can learn from Africa’s experience in dealing with the virus.

The World Health Organization convened the two-day meeting in an effort to identify knowledge gaps and ask research questions as the world faces an unprecedented spread of the smallpox virus.

The role of close contact, sexual parties

The meeting comes as major cities around the world embark on Pride celebrations during June. Increasing evidence from Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom points to places where men have sex with multiple male partners – parties identified in Ibiza, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Antwerp, Belgium – It was the driving force of the current outbreak.

In a presentation to WHO by Gianfranco Spitteri, MD, MDH, of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, he detailed initial cases in Portugal and suggested that close skin-to-skin contact during sexual relations is the primary mode of transmission for these conditions. Spitteri explained that the clinical manifestations of the genital rash was the first telltale sign that sexual activity played a role in transmission.

Portugal has now Spitteri said 119 caseshe said Portuguese men reported early onset of symptoms since Apl 29, according to A European watch Today’s study details the first cases in Portugal.

So far all patients in this country are men, and many of them have described attending two gay places and saunas before developing the rash. Based on early interviews with patients with the cases, Spitteri said 14 of the 16 men reported having multiple sexual partners shortly before contracting the virus. Fourteen of the initial 26 patients were also infected with HIV.

In the European watch The study, Spitteri and co-authors wrote, “Our results, consistent with findings from UK investigations, raise the hypothesis of undetected prevalence. [monkeypox] Happening in Europe at least since early April and possible import into Portugal.”

In total, there are now 700 confirmed cases in 27 countries outside Africa.

WHO highlights African cases

At the meeting, Emmanuel Nacon, PhD, with Institut Pasteur de Bangui in the Central African Republic, provided an epidemiological overview of monkeypox in Africa, where the virus is endemic. Patients on that continent often contract the virus after contact with an infected animal and spread the disease throughout the home.

“Since 2015, we have seen an increase in the number of cases,” said Konon. “At this point, we need cross-border cooperation to understand all aspects that lead to transmission.”

In contrast to cases in non-endemic countries, Africa has reported 66 monkeypox deaths so far this year, WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said during a presentation.

“We have to acknowledge the fact that this virus has been circulating for decades, and now we are paying attention to this, the sad reality of the world in which we live,” she said. “We need to use this opportunity to advance our knowledge of the virus to help everyone, everywhere.”

Monkeypox was first observed in monkey research in 1958, with the first human case identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. Because the smallpox vaccine provides some protection against the virus, cases were only sporadic until the 2000s in 10 African countries Where the virus is now endemic.

In the rest of the world, cases have been limited and have been linked to travel until spring this year. Between 2018 and 2019, the UK reported only four cases, for example, all of them linked to travel. In 2021, three more cases were reported in Britain with a travel history.

Now, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the UK has 207 confirmed cases.

In a report on the first 87 cases detected in the UK, also published today in European watchUnknown sex has proven to be a barrier to effective contact tracing, the authors said, with only 28% of men able to provide recent sexual contact names.

“Several cases have refused to disclose personal details of their sexual contacts, or have reported multiple anonymous contacts, such as darkrooms and sailing places,” the report said.

The United States confirms 19 cases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today confirmed another case in the United States, bringing the total to 19, but news reports in both Atlanta and Los Angeles indicate that officials in those cities suspected the virus in residents.

In an update posted to Twitter, “I urge everyone to deal with this outbreak without stigma and without discrimination,” said CDC Director Demeter Daskalakis, director of HIV/AIDS prevention.

Although most cases are in men who have sex with men, anyone can get monkeypox through close contact with the skin, bedding, clothing, or objects used by someone with an active infection.

2022-06-02 22:15:42

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