Gay men more likely to catch monkeypox? Here is what WHO says

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), has encouraged impacted countries to identify all monkeypox cases and contacts in order to manage the outbreak. In his statement, he mentioned that reports of the disease are being reported mainly for men who have sex with men.

“Cases have been reported mainly, but not only, among men who have sex with men. Some countries are beginning to report cases of apparent community transmission, including some cases in women,” WHO Director-General Tedros said.

Monkeypox, according to the WHO, is usually a self-limiting condition that lasts two to four weeks. It can be particularly dangerous in youngsters, pregnant women, and people who are immunocompromised owing to other factors. Incubation lasts six to 13 days on average, but it can last anywhere from five to 21 days.

Are men who have sex with other men more likely to contract monkeypox?

Monkeypox is spread from person to person by close personal contact, according to the WHO. Monkeypox is not only a risk for sexually-active people or males who have intercourse with other men. Anyone who comes into close personal touch with an infectious person is at risk. Anyone experiencing symptoms that could indicate monkeypox should seek medical attention as soon as possible. People with ties to communities where cases have been documented are included.

Males who have sex with men have been recognised in several of the instances reported from non-endemic countries. Sexual health clinics were used to identify these cases. It’s possible that the increased reports of monkeypox cases in communities of men who have sex with men is due to this demographic’s positive health seeking behaviour. The rashes of monkeypox can look like those of sexually transmitted illnesses like herpes and syphilis, which could explain why these cases are being reported to sexual health clinics. As we learn more, we may be able to detect cases in the broader community.

Need to prevent monkeypox

On June 8, the WHO director-general emphasised the need of preventing the disease from spreading further. He said, while no deaths had been documented so far, the risk of monkeypox spreading to non-endemic nations was “real”.

“Over 1,000 #monkeypox cases have been reported from 29 countries where the disease is not endemic, with no deaths reported so far in these countries. @WHO urges affected countries to identify all cases and contacts to control the outbreak and prevent onward spread,” tweeted Tedros.

Typical symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, backache and fatigue and swollen lymph nodes and then it’s followed by skin rashes and or lesions.

(With agency inputs)

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