Monkeypox Spreads in Gay and Bisexual Men
Although experts say monkeypox can spread between all people through close contact, it has been found predominantly in gay and bisexual men.
From CNBC. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday alerted gay and bisexual men that monkeypox appears to be spreading in the community globally, warning people to take precautions if they have been in close contact with someone who may have the virus and to be on the lookout for symptoms.
Dr. John Brooks, a CDC official, emphasized that anyone can contract monkeypox through close personal contact regardless of sexual orientation. However, Brooks said many of the people affected globally so far are men who identify as gay or bisexual. Though some groups have greater chance of exposure to monkeypox right now, the risk isn’t limited only to the gay and bisexual community, he cautioned.
“We want to help people make the best informed decisions to protect their health and the health of their community from monkeypox,” Brooks said.
Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease … but it can be transmitted through sexual and intimate contact as well as through shared bedding. The virus spreads through contact with body fluids and sores, Brooks said.
He added that it’s important for physicians and individuals to be aware of the symptoms associated with monkeypox, particularly anal or genital lesions that can be confused with herpes, syphilis or chickenpox….
Monkeypox usually begins with symptoms similar to the flu including fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. It then progresses to body rashes on the face, hands, feet, eyes, mouth or genitals that turn into raised bumps which then become blisters.
However, the rash has appeared first in some of the recently reported cases, according Dr. Jennifer McQuiston, a CDC official. While the virus has a long incubation period, patients are considered most infectious when they have a rash, McQuiston said….
“This is not Covid,” McQuiston said. “Respiratory spread is not the predominant worry….”
The U.S. has confirmed one case of monkeypox in Massachusetts and four cases of orthopox in New York City, Florida and Utah, according to McQuiston. State labs have tests that can identify orthopox, which are presumed to be monkeypox, but they have to be sent to the CDC in Atlanta for further analysis to confirm that diagnosis, McQuiston said….
The smallpox vaccine appears to be about 85% effective at preventing monkeypox, based on research in Africa, according to the CDC. … However, the vaccine can have significant side effects and any decision to use it widely would require serious discussion, she said….
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