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Monkeypox not a gay disease…: WHO answers 4 crucial questions on the virus

As monkeypox cases climb in the UK and the US, World Health Organisation (WHO) directed countries to step up efforts to identify and report new infections. However, with many irrelevant theories and inhibitions regarding how the virus spread, experts have categorically said that it is not a ‘gay disease.’ The infection spread through close contact hence, it can happen to anyone who comes close to an infected person. Here’s all that you need to know.

How Monkeypox is transmitted?

Monkeypox spreads through close physical contact. People infected with monkeypox develop a rash. And that rash is extremely contagious, WHO’s Rosamund Lewis said

Who is at risk for Monkeypox?

We see cases among men who identify as gay, bisexual, or from other groups of men who have sex with other men in several countries, often linked to travel, said WHO’s Andy Seale.

But this is not a gay disease as some people have attempted to label it. Anybody can contract it through close contact.

How long monkeypox has been around?

We have been aware of this virus for more than 40 years. So in countries where we are seeing new cases that have not experienced the cases before, surveillance has focused on such populations so far. And right now we are describing what we are seeing, Maria Van Kerkhove said.

How likely Monkeypox is a pandemic?

This is a containable situation. Particularly in the countries where we are seeing outbreaks that are happening across Europe, North America right now. But we cannot take the eyes off what’s happening in Africa, Kerkhove added.

The cousin of the smallpox virus has previously been mostly confined to regions in Africa, but health authorities are concerned about cases ticking up in Europe and North America. The World Health Organization had said that 92 cases and 28 suspected cases had been identified in 12 countries outside of those African nations where it is endemic as of May 21.

The WHO has said that cross-protection from smallpox vaccination will be limited to older persons since populations under the age of 40 or 50 years no longer benefit from prior immunization programs.

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