Gay and bisexual men at risk of catching monkeypox were told Wednesday to reduce their number of sexual partners “for the moment” by World Health Organization (W.H.O.) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
He cautioned some 98 percent of the cases detected since the outbreaks began have been among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, and they need to take account of their actions and take steps to protect themselves, AP reports.
“That means making safe choices for yourself and others, for men who have sex with men,” Tedros said. “This includes, for the moment, reducing your number of sexual partners.”
Infectious individuals should isolate and avoid gatherings involving close, physical contact, while people should get contact details for any new sexual partners in case they need to follow up later, the W.H.O. chief said, repeating an earlier message calling for caution.
The latest warning is a repeat of one issued last month by British health authorities, as Breitbart London reported.
British officials have told those suffering from monkeypox that they should abstain from sex in the hopes of curbing the spread of the disease. https://t.co/x9WkcWK7C3
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 1, 2022
To date, more than 19,000 cases have been reported in more than 75 countries; deaths have only been reported in Africa, according to the U.N.-subsidiary.
“We know very clearly that one of the main modes of exposure for this particular illness is through direct contact, close contact, skin to skin contact, possibly even face to face contact, exposure to droplets or virus that may be in the mouth,” Dr. Rosamund Lewis, W.H.O.’s technical lead for monkeypox, said during as press briefing at W.H.O. headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The vast majority of infections seen so far have been in men who have sex with men.
The sudden spike in Monkeypox cases suggests that the virus has been spreading undetected, according to WHO. https://t.co/2MynjjLLg3
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 2, 2022
Tedros also called on social media platforms, tech companies and news organizations to counter harmful information, which he warned will only fuel the outbreak.
“The stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus and can fuel the outbreak. As we have seen with Covid-19 misinformation, and this information can spread rapidly online,” he said.
Andy Seale, a W.H.O. adviser on HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, said experts have determined the current monkeypox outbreak is “clearly transmitted during sex,” but he said they have not yet concluded whether it’s a sexually transmitted infection.
Dr. Hugh Adler, who treats monkeypox patients in the U.K., said monkeypox was being transmitted during sex and that sexual networks and anonymous sex with untraceable partners were facilitating its spread.
“It’s just as likely that monkeypox was always capable of transmitting and presenting like this, but it hadn’t been formally reported or so widespread before,” he said.