CDC officials warn of gay and bisexual men as monkeypox spreads in community

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday alerted gay and bisexual men that Monkeypox appears to be spreading in the community worldwide, and warns people to take precautions if they were in close contact with someone who may have the virus and are on the lookout to be. for symptoms.

Dr. John Brooks, a CDC official, stressed that anyone can access Monkeypox through close personal contact, regardless of sexual orientation. However, Brooks said that many of the people affected worldwide are men who identify as gay or bisexual. Although some groups have greater chances of exposing lawyers, the risk is not limited to the gay and bisexual community, he warned.

“We want to help people make the best informed decisions to protect their health and the health of their Monkeypox community,” Brooks said.

A section of skin tissue, harvested from a lesion on the skin of a monkey infected with the Monkeypox virus, is seen at 50X magnification on day four of the 1968 rash.

Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease that is commonly transmitted through semen or vaginal fluid, 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 wounds, Brooks said.

He added that it is important for physicians and individuals to be aware of the symptoms associated with Monkeypox, especially anal or genital lesions that may be confused with herpes, syphilis or chickenpox.

“Anyone with a rash or lesion around or involved their genitals, anus or any other place where they have not seen it before should be fully evaluated, both for this rash but especially for sexually transmitted infection and other diseases that rash can cause, “Brooks said.

Monkeypox usually begins with symptoms similar to the flu, including fever, headache, muscle aches, tingling, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. This results in rashes on the face, hands, feet, eyes, mouth or genitals, which can lead to swollen bulbs, which then become blisters.

However, the rash first appeared in some of the recently reported cases, according to 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. Although Monkeypox can spread through respiratory droplets, the virus comes from infected lesions in the throat and mouth, which can spread it into the air. However, the transmission of respiratory droplets requires prolonged face-to-face contact, according to the CDC.

“This is not Covid,” McQuiston said. “Respiratory prevalence is not the dominant concern. There is contact and intimate contact in the current outbreak and population.”

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 that are presumably monkeypox, but they must be sent to the CDC in Atlanta for further analysis to confirm this diagnosis, McQuiston said.

The cases identified in the U.S. are a milder West African tribe, McQuiston said. Most people who catch the virus recover in two to four weeks without specific treatments, she said.

The World Health Organization has in recent days identified about 200 confirmed or suspected Monkeypox cases across at least a dozen countries in Europe and North America.

It is uncommon, but not unheard of, to find Monkeypox cases outside of a handful of West and Central African nations where the virus is endemic. The United States had an outbreak of more than 70 cases in 2003, stemming from people keeping infected prairie dogs as pets.

There has been a stream of cases in Nigeria in recent years, but the cases that have been identified around the world in the last two weeks are unusual because most of the patients have no recent travel history in Nigeria or any other country , where the virus is commonly found, according to McQuiston.

The doll vaccine appears to be about 85% effective in preventing Monkeypox, based on research in Africa, according to the CDC. The U.S. has a stock of 100 million doses of an old-generation vaccine called ACAM2000 that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for people at high risk for smallpox, according to McQuiston. However, vaccination can have significant side effects and any decision to use it far would require serious discussion, she said.

The US also has more than 1,000 available doses of a vaccine called Jynneos which is FDA approved for people 18 years and older with high risk of Monkeypox or dolls. It is administered as two shots and does not have the same risk of severe side effects. McQuiston said the number of doses should increase rapidly in the coming weeks as the vaccine manufacturer increases production.

“We hope to maximize the vaccine distribution to those we know who benefit from it, so that these are people who have had contact with a well-known Monkeypox patient, health care workers, very close personal contacts and those in particular who may be at high risk. a serious illness, “McQuiston said.