Monkeypox isn’t simply unfold by sexual contact

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A TikTok video which has additionally been shared on Fb questions why kids have contracted monkeypox if the unfold of the virus happens by way of sexual contact.

Within the video, a person says: “So let me see if I acquired this straight. Monkeypox is sexually transmitted. Monkeypox is on the rise. Kids are getting monkeypox.”

However it’s doable for each kids and adults to contract monkeypox with out sexual contact.

Subsequently if this video is suggesting that kids contracted monkeypox by way of sexual abuse, or questioning whether or not the monkeypox circumstances reported in kids are actual, both implication can be incorrect.

Since Could, and for the primary time, monkeypox circumstances have been reported in a lot of nations exterior west and central Africa—the place the illness is endemic in a number of nations—in individuals with no journey historical past to the area .

In keeping with the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA) there have been 2,768 confirmed and 91 extremely possible monkeypox circumstances within the UK as of 4 August, the majority of which have been recorded amongst “homosexual, bisexual and males who’ve intercourse with males (GBMSM) related by sexual networks.”

Nonetheless, whereas it’s true that well being authorities imagine that monkeypox is being unfold by way of sexual contact, this isn’t the one means for the virus to unfold.

Present NHS steerage says that monkeypox might be handed from individual to individual by way of:

  • Shut bodily contact with monkeypox blisters or scabs (together with throughout sexual contact, kissing, cuddling or holding arms)
  • Touching clothes, bedding or towels utilized by somebody with monkeypox
  • The coughs or sneezes of an individual with monkeypox once they’re near you

In a technical briefing offered on 5 August, the UKHSA mentioned: “While the first reported route is thru shut or sexual contact, monkeypox virus has been detected in air and environmental samples within the hospital room of contaminated sufferers.”

“There aren’t any confirmed situations of airborne transmission. Restricted family transmission has been described within the UK. Detailed investigations of some circumstances have discovered small numbers with no recognized route of acquisition, attributable to reporting no intercourse or different potential exposures throughout their incubation interval.”

In keeping with the Centres for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) monkeypox just isn’t presently thought-about a sexually transmitted illness, though there’s some debate amongst medical professionals about how finest to categorise the illness.

Monkeypox circumstances confirmed in small variety of kids

Circumstances of monkeypox in kids have beforehand been documented in nations the place the illness is endemic, with the World Well being Organisation (WHO) advising that “extreme circumstances happen extra generally amongst kids”.

Through the present outbreak, a really small variety of circumstances of monkeypox have been reported in kids in the USA and Europe. The UKHSA mentioned that, as of 5 July, there was one case in a toddler beneath the age of 16 within the UK this 12 months. Full Reality has requested the WHO to verify the variety of circumstances amongst kids reported in nations the place the illness just isn’t endemic.

Some individuals have used these paediatric circumstances, alongside well being steerage stating that the present outbreak has been primarily pushed by sexual contact, to promote conspiracy theories referring to youngster intercourse abuse.

Nonetheless, as we’ve defined, monkeypox might be unfold in different methods that don’t contain sexual contact.

Picture courtesy of Geralt



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