Pride parades pose little risk of spread monkeypox because most broadcasts are linked to ‘closed areas’ like nightclubs, etc World Health Organisation consultant suggested.
Andy Seale, of the agency’s HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases division, said in a briefing yesterday that there was “no reason to be concerned” about contracting the virus during these events.
He added that many cases recorded so far have been traced to indoor gatherings leading to physical touch, the main route of transmission for the virus.
The WHO adviser added that condoms would not prevent someone from becoming infected, pointing out that infectious skin lesions can appear anywhere on the body, including the genital area.
Pride parades will be held in the US in June amid concerns from organizers about cases of the virus endemic to West Africa.
The outbreak in Europe — which has now reached more than 400 cases — was partly caused by unprotected sex after a Pride event in Spain and at a fetish festival in Belgium, WHO chiefs have suggested.
In Britain, people with new rashes are now being ordered to abstain from sex or close contact with others ‘until their lesions have healed and the scabs have dried’.
In the US, a total of 15 cases have been registered in eight states. They are mostly among gay and bisexual men and have been linked to foreign travel, although there are now signs that the virus may be spreading in America.
Andy Seale, of the agency’s HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections division, said in a briefing yesterday that there was “no reason to worry” about contracting the virus during these events.
The WHO says Pride parades should continue as normal. Pictured are people celebrating Pride in San Diego, California
Seale said at the conference: “From our point of view, we want to send a message that it is important that people who want to go out and celebrate gay pride LGBTQ+ pride continue to do so.
“Most of these events are outdoors, they are family friendly.
‘In that regard, we see no reason to be concerned about a greater chance of transfer, because the parties we examined have been in more confined spaces, etc.’
Massachusetts monkeypox patient had rash, fever and fluid-filled blisters
America’s first monkeypox patient this year had “pox-like” fluid-filled blisters that erupt on his scalp, palms and soles, doctors say.
The man – who has not been named – was admitted to… Massachusetts General Hospital on May 12 with fever and rash after antibiotics failed to prevent his illness.
Doctors initially thought the patient had chickenpox, a sexually transmitted disease such as herpes, or even an allergic reaction. But skin and blood tests for these diseases in the hospital’s specialized lab were repeatedly negative.
The link with monkey pox was not made until the blisters appeared.
The man was the first confirmed case of the virus in the US this year and the first sign that the outbreak had crossed the Atlantic to America from Europe.
In the briefing, Seale also advised that wearing a condom would not be enough to stop the virus from spreading.
‘We should not shy away from reminding people that it is still useful to talk about condoms, for example to protect people against pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
“But for monkeypox, condoms don’t offer an extra layer of protection, as close physical contact is the main risk factor.”
Monkeypox infections start with a fever before a rash appears over the face.
About five days later, lesions also appear on the skin.
Many cases are mild and resolve on their own within four weeks. But between one in 10 and one in 100 people who become infected die from the disease.
It is mainly spread through physical contact with skin lesions, where people can only pass on the virus if they have symptoms.
Last week, the WHO called on gay and bisexual men to take precautions to limit their exposure to the virus.
They said anyone who has symptoms should isolate themselves at home and avoid skin-to-skin contact with others.
They were also told to keep their hands and surfaces that are touched regularly clean and to wear a mask if they come into close contact with others.
They said: ‘Monkeypox can spread during close skin-to-skin contact during sex, including kissing, touching, oral and penetrative sex with someone who has symptoms.
“Avoid close contact with anyone who has symptoms.”
Last week, the LGBT dating app Grindr aired a monkey pox warning urging gay and bisexual men to be aware of the symptoms of the virus.
The warning was issued to users across Europe last night advising them to contact their sexual health care provider if they have any unusual sores or skin rashes.
UK health chiefs are now advising potential monkey pox patients to avoid having sex with others.
In a guidance published Monday, they said: ‘People with possible, probable or confirmed monkeypox should avoid contact with other people until their lesions have healed and the scabs have dried.
“Don’t go to a sexual health clinic without checking with them first. Stay at home and avoid close contact with other people until you know what to do.’
Worldwide, monkeypox has now been reported in over 20 countries where it is not native with most in Europe.
Health leaders say the virus has likely been circulating for some time — possibly as early as March 15 — but went undetected.
A total of 15 cases have been reported in the US so far, and Florida today revealed it has discovered another potential case.
They are mostly among gay and bisexual men and have been associated with overseas travel with people returning from Canada or Europe.
One case in Virginia – that is in a woman – can be traced back to recent travels from an area of Africa where it is endemic.
Possible cases of human-to-human transmission have now been reported on U.S. soil, a sign that the outbreak is still circulating undiagnosed.
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