The new scare of the month is what’s being termed as monkeypox, which has entered the United States so far in a very minimal fashion. This week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that men having sex with other men should be on alert for this disease more so than others.
Dr. John Brooks with the CDC said that while anyone can contract the disease through “close personal contact regardless of sexual orientation,” it appears to be affecting gay and bisexual men at a much higher rate. That information is not just for the US, but globally.
Interestingly, the CDC is also saying that monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD), although it appears to have been transmitted primarily during sex or other close contact.
Andy Seale, who is a WHO advisor on STDs, said, “Many diseases can be spread through sexual contact. You could get a cough or a cold through sexual contact, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a sexually transmitted disease.” It can be contracted through “animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus.”
According to the CDC, the disease “enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth)…Human-to-human transmission is thought to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required.”
To be transmitted via animal, the CDC said, “Animal-to-human transmission may occur by bite or scratch, bush meat preparation, direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, or indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated bedding.”
Scott Gottlieb, who our readers might remember as being a former head of the Food and Drug Administration and current “special partner” of Pfizer’s, said on Monday, “This is a virus that is super stable outside the human host, so it can live on objects like blankets and things like that. And so you can see situations where people become reluctant to try on clothing, things like that, where it could become disruptive in areas where this is spreading, like New York City.”
Dr. Brooks indicated that Monkeypox can be confused with herpes because of the location on the anus or genitals. He said, “Anyone with a rash or lesion around or involving their genitals, their anus or any other place that they have not seen it before, should be fully evaluated, both for that rash but particularly for sexually transmitted infection and other illnesses that can cause rash.”
Images of monkeypox have shown open blisters or lesions. The disease usually begins with flu-like symptoms like fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. “It then progresses to body rashes on the face, hands, feet, eyes, mouth or genitals that turn into raised bumps which then become blisters,” CNBC wrote.
While some comments, such as Gottlieb’s, are sounding quite similar to the Covid/lockdown/mandates narrative, Dr. Jennifer McQuiston with the CDC further clarified, “This is not Covid. Respiratory spread is not the predominant worry. It is contact and intimate contact in the current outbreak setting and population.”
The virus has predominantly been found in Africa, Nigeria more specifically, but has been seen in the US and European countries in the last weeks despite the ill not having traveled to that region.
McQuiston also said that based on research out of Africa, the current smallpox vaccine appears to be approximately 85% effective against monkeypox, which is related to smallpox but generally not as severe.