The World Health Organization confirmed on Wednesday that it was investigating whether Monkey Pox could be sexually transmitted after being found in patients’ semen.
The UN health agency has confirmed that it is taking the unexpected DNA results from scientists in both Italy and Germany seriously.
“It was something we were unaware of before the disease,” said Katherine Smallwood, WHO / Europe’s Monkey Pox event manager.
“We really need to focus on the most frequent mode of transmission and we clearly see the need to connect as soon as possible,” he said in a press briefing.
The agency has warned for weeks that the current dangerous spread of the virus in dozens of new countries is linked to men who have had sex with other men.
According to the UK’s Health Security Agency, this was the case in 99% of the 152 patients with monkey pox in England. The UK has the most confirmed cases with at least 470.
However, experts say the latest findings show that the identification of viral DNA in the semen of a handful of Monkey Pox patients in Italy and Germany has significantly increased the likelihood that it will actually be sexually transmitted. happens.
They included a laboratory-tested sample that showed that the virus found in the semen of a single patient was capable of infecting and replicating others.
As a precaution, the WHO recommends that monkey pox patients use condoms for 12 weeks after recovery.
The agency is also liaising with Pride event organizers and dating apps to provide “clear information to raise awareness,” said WHO Regional Director for Europe. Hans Kluj said on Wednesday.
“While” most “cases are of men having sex with men” – including many with “numerous and sometimes anonymous sexual partners” – Cluj said, “we should keep this in mind.” The Monkey Pox virus itself is not linked to any specific group. “
Pointing to the lessons of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, he said that “defaming certain populations weakens the public health response.”
Nevertheless, he warned that the fast approaching “summer tours, various pride events, music festivals and other large gatherings” are powerful opportunities to engage with young, sexually active and highly mobile people.
“Monkeypox is not a reason to cancel events, but an opportunity to take advantage of them to further our engagement,” he said.
Organizers of the Pride events in places including London, Berlin, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Malta and Stockholm have said they will go ahead as planned.
The WHO said on Tuesday it was planning to rename the virus and the disease, while also holding a special meeting to determine whether it had “high-level” international concerns. Should be considered a “public health emergency.”
Post with wires