David Heymann, an infectious diseases expert at the World Health Organization, has said that the recent monkeypox outbreak may have emerged via sexual transmission at two European raves, The Hill has reported.
What are the details?
Heymann told the Associated Press that raves in Belgium and Spain have become the leading theory in tracing back the disease’s latest spread.
“It’s very possible there was somebody who got infected, developed lesions on the genitals, hands or somewhere else, and then spread it to others when there was sexual or close physical contact,” Heymann explained. “And then there were these international events that seeded the outbreak around the world, into the U.S. and other European countries.”
The outlet reported that Belgium has instituted a mandatory three-week quarantine for any confirmed monkeypox patients.
On Saturday, the WHO noted that the latest cases have largely been among men who have had sexual intercourse with other men.
“The extent of local transmission is unclear at this stage, as surveillance has been limited,” the WHO said in its Saturday statement. “There is a high likelihood of identification of further cases with unidentified chains of transmission, including in other population groups.”
According to the report, Inger Damon — director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s poxvirus research division — said that health care providers in the United States should look out for any rashes that appear to be monkeypox.
“Many of these global reports of monkeypox cases are occurring within sexual networks,” Damon warned. “[H]ealthcare providers should be alert to any rash that has features typical of monkeypox. We’re asking the public to contact their healthcare provider if they have a new rash and are concerned about monkeypox.”
NBC News has reported that the WHO has recorded at least 90 cases of monkeypox in at least a dozen countries including Britain, Spain, Israel, France, Switzerland, the U.S., and Australia.