In the UK, the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has warned ‘men who are gay and bisexual’ to be aware of unusual rashes or lesions. They have also been warned to contact a doctor straight away in such a case, media reports state.
The Daily Mail informs that monkeypox has largely spread within the men who have sex with men (MSM) community in the US and so far, experts have reported that they make up upwards of 90 per cent of the country’s 15,433 recorded infections.
Additionally, a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which included 787 men (identified as gay, bisexual or MSM has found that 48 per cent of MSM have reduced their number of sexual partners out of fear of catching monkeypox, the Daily Mail states.
Half are reportedly reducing their number of one-night-stands, while 49 per cent are reducing sex on dating apps like Grindr, which is popular amongst MSM, the Daily Mail reports.
It is said that the CDC survey was conducted online between August 5 and 15 by the American Men’s Internet Survey — which monitors behaviour trends in the LGBT community and which is based at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to the Daily Mail, last month the WHO called on gay and bisexual men to consider limiting their sexual partners to reduce the spread of monkeypox.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of WHO is reported to have advised people on the steps they could take to avoid the virus.
He said, “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.”
Experts are reported to have said that though the WHO was right to issue the warning at the time (as most cases were being spotted in the LGBT community) they have also cautioned that is important to ensure one group was not singled out.
The Daily Mail informs that so far, the virus has primarily spread via sexual contact but it can also spread by any sort of physical touch with infectious lesions.
The monkeypox outbreak has reportedly spiralled out of control in America due to a failure on the part of health officials to tackle the virus early. There has also been a sluggish roll out of tests for the virus and vaccines, informs the Daily Mail.
Though no deaths have been recorded in America’s outbreak to date, at least ten cases have been detected among children (who are more at risk) according to experts.
The virus has supposedly taken the US by storm since it was first confirmed stateside in the month of May.
On Monday, Wyoming became the 50th and final state to record an infection.
New York reportedly has the biggest outbreak (with 2,910 confirmed cases) followed by California (with 2,663 cases) and Florida with (1,588 cases) said, the Daily Mail.
At the other end of the scale is Wyoming (with a single case) Vermont (two confirmed cases), South Dakota (two cases) and Montana (two cases).
The Daily Mail informs that shortages of vaccine doses have led many health departments to scrap second doses (against federal advice) in order to offer people more shots.
However, in an effort to beef-up supply, health officials supposedly changed the way the vaccine was administered stating that by giving just a fifth of the original dose between the skin was just as effective.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection most commonly found in west or central Africa. Although more people have been diagnosed with it recently, only a small number of people in the UK have had monkeypox and the risk remains low.
Anyone can get monkeypox. Though currently most cases have been in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with other men, so it’s particularly important to be aware of the symptoms if you are in these groups.
Monkeypox can be passed on from person to person through:
• close physical contact (including during sexual contact, kissing, cuddling or holding hands)
• touching clothing, bedding or towels of someone infected with monkeypox
•coughing or sneezing of an infected person when they’re close to you