Monkeypox Cases in Africa Not Concentrated Among Gay Men, Say Experts

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Monkeypox outbreaks in Africa should not concentrated amongst homosexual males, not like in different elements of the world, specialists from the World Well being Group and the Africa CDC mentioned on Thursday.

Outbreaks of the viral illness have been reported from 78 nations, largely in Europe, and 98 per cent of instances exterior the nations in Africa the place it’s endemic have been reported in males who’ve intercourse with males, the WHO says. However in Africa, the place repeated outbreaks have been documented because the Seventies, the sample of transmission is completely different, the specialists mentioned.

“Presently 60% of the instances that we’ve got – the 350 – 60% are males, 40% are girls,” mentioned epidemiologist Dr Otim Patrick Ramadan, who was answering questions on monkeypox at a media briefing organised by the WHO’s regional workplace in Africa, and who was referring to the continent’s variety of present instances.

He mentioned greater than 80 per cent instances in Africa have been in nations the place transmission had occurred earlier than, and that usually individuals have been initially uncovered to the virus by contact with animals carrying it, earlier than passing it to family members. He added that ladies usually took care of sick individuals at dwelling, which was one of many elements within the unfold amongst girls.

Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, appearing director of the Africa Centres for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), advised a separate media briefing there was no proof that transmission amongst homosexual males was a selected consider African outbreaks.

“We have been accumulating knowledge on monkeypox since 1970 and that exact indicator, males having intercourse with males, has by no means come up as a major challenge right here in Africa,” he mentioned.

Greater than 18,000 instances of monkeypox have been reported worldwide in what the WHO has declared to be a worldwide well being emergency. The illness spreads through shut contact and tends to trigger flu-like signs and pus-filled pores and skin lesions.

Public well being companies have confused that though in lots of nations the outbreaks are concentrated amongst males who’ve intercourse with males, anybody can contract the virus by extended shut contact or from particles on objects equivalent to bedding or towels.

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