Unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox might be linked to sexual act at rave in Europe, says WHO

The leading advisor of the World Health Organisation has described the unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox in developed countries as “a random event” that might be explained by sexual behaviour at two recent raves.

The former head of the World Health Organisation’s emergencies department, Dr David Heymann, that the leading theory out of many put forward to explain the spread of the disease was sexual transmission at raves in Europe.

Monkeypox has not previously triggered widespread outbreaks further Africa, where it is endemic among animals.

Dr Heymann mentioned in the statement, “We know monkeypox can spread when there is close contact with the lesions of someone who is infected, and it looks like sexual contact has now amplified that transmission.”

That marks a significant departure from the virus’s typical pattern of spread in central as well as western Africa, where the individuals are mainly infected by the animals like wild rodents and primates and outbreaks have not spilt across borders.

The Health Officials mentioned that most of the known cases in Europe have been among men who have sex with men, but anyone can be infected through close contact with the ill person, their clothing or bedsheets. The scientist says it will be hard to establish whether the spread is being driven by sex or merely close contact.

Along with this, a virologist at Imperial College London, Mike Skinner, stated, “By nature, the sexual activity involves intimate contact, which one would expect to increase the likelihood of transmission, whatever a person’s sexual orientation and irrespective of the mode of transmission. ”

Furthermore, on Monday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s director, Andrea Ammon, said, “the likelihood of further spread of the virus through close contact, for example during sexual activities among persons with multiple sexual partners, is considered to be high.”

The World Health Organisation has reported over 90 cases of monkeypox in a dozen countries, including Canada, Spain, Israel, France, Switzerland, the US and Australia. On Monday, Denmark announced its first case, Portugal revised its total up to 37, Italy reported one further infection, and Britain added 37 more cases.

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