WASHINGTON, D.C. – The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued what some are calling an unbelievable warning on Monday that links the current worldwide outbreak of monkeypox to sexual encounters between same-sex human males.
Currently, there are approximately 200 confirmed cases of monkeypox throughout North America and Europe – with the initial two cases of 2022 outside of Africa confirmed in the United Kingdom – which the WHO said can be possibly linked to homosexual sex.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an alert to gay and bisexual men, saying that monkeypox appears to be spreading in the community globally and urging individuals to take precautions and to be on the lookout for symptoms.
CDC official Dr. John Brooks said that monkeypox can be spread by individuals of any sexual orientation, but noted that the majority of infections globally seems to be afflicting the gay and bisexual communities.
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“We want to help people make the best informed decisions to protect their health and the health of their community from monkeypox,” Brooks said.
The United States and Canada each have recorded five cases of monkeypox apiece thus far, but the outbreak has been far more prevalent in Europe, representing the largest spread of the disease on the continent in history.
While monkeypox is not transmitted sexually, it can be spread via “close physical contact” with either a person who has been infected, or by contact with any blankets or sheets that they have used, WHO adviser Andy Seale said.
“Many diseases can be spread through sexual contact,” he said. “You could get a cough or a cold through sexual contact, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a sexually transmitted disease.”
Monkeypox symptoms typically appear similar to the flu, including fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. Later symptoms include rashes on the face, hands, feet, eyes, mouth or genitals that eventually can become blisters.