Monkeypox is spreading among young men… vigilance↑

Monkeypox, which is spreading from North America and Europe to the Middle East and Latin America, is characterized by the fact that the majority of recent cases are young men. International organizations believe that monkeypox has spread to many countries through large-scale parties in Europe where sexual minorities participated.

Experts emphasize that close contact with symptomatic persons as well as same-sex sexual contact should be avoided as it can be transmitted through contact with lesions or body fluids of monkey pox patients.

According to the quarantine authorities and the medical community on the 29th, the UK was the first country in Europe where monkey pox occurred. The first case of a male patient who had traveled to Nigeria on the 7th was the first. Since then, four confirmed cases of young male LGBTI people have been reported one after another.

Since then, cases of monkey pox have started to occur one after another in other countries, such as Spain and Portugal. In Portugal, the initial confirmed and suspected cases were all males in their 20s and 40s.

World Health Organization (WHO) advisor David Heyman, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, estimated that monkey pox was transmitted through sexual contact between LGBTQ males at two large parties in Spain and Belgium.

Since then, monkeypox has spread to North America, the Middle East, and Central and South America. In the United States, there have been nine cases, some of them traveling to areas where the infection occurred. Foreign media reported that the U.S. case of infection was found in sexual intercourse between men.

Monkey smallpox is not a contagious disease that is primarily transmitted through sexual contact. However, if you come in contact with a patient’s lesions or body fluids, you can become infected. For this reason, if the first infected person was a male sexual minority, there is a possibility that it spread mainly among men through close physical contact.

Professor Kim Woo-joo of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Korea University Guro Hospital said, “Since most of the cases of infection are male-to-male sexual contact, there is a suspicion that it is a sexually transmitted disease. “Rash and blisters can form on the groin or vulva of a person infected with smallpox, so I think that skin-to-skin contact can lead to infection,” he said.

However, experts think that homosexuality is the cause of monkey pox or that we should be wary of the perception that monkey pox is spread only through homosexuality. It is said that everyone should be careful about infection, as it can be transmitted through normal physical contact.

Professor Eom Joong-sik, Department of Infectious Diseases, Gachon University Gil Hospital, said, “The main route of transmission of smallpox is through contact with the patient’s lesions or body fluids or breathing in respiratory droplets. There is no evidence that it is spread only through (same-sex) sexual contact,” he said.

Rochelle Wallensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said:

“Stigma and discrimination in public health lead to reduced access to treatment, continued disease transmission, and a blunt response to outbreaks and threats,” Wallensky said. .

The symptoms of monkey smallpox are similar to those of general smallpox, and it is known that an 85% preventive effect can be expected with the smallpox vaccine. However, since the WHO declared an end to smallpox in 1980, there has been no vaccination. For this reason, there is an opinion that young people who do not have immunity to smallpox are more vulnerable to monkeypox.

Professor Kim said, “In Korea, smallpox vaccination was implemented until 1978. Most people over the age of 57 have received the smallpox vaccine, but those under the age of 44 have never been vaccinated. did.

[서울=뉴시스]

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