Meanwhile, in the real world, the CDC is following five suspected US cases spread through four states.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted gay and bisexual men that monkeypox appears to be spreading in the gay community globally.
Dr. John Brooks, a CDC official, emphasized that anyone can contract monkeypox through close personal contact regardless of sexual orientation. However, Brooks said many of the people affected globally so far are men who identify as gay or bisexual. Though they may have greater chance of exposure to monkeypox right now, that doesn’t mean the risk is limited only to the gay and bisexual community, he cautioned.
“We want to help people make the best informed decisions to protect their health and the health of their community from monkeypox,” Brooks said.
Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, which is generally passed through semen or vaginal fluid, but it can be transmitted through sexual and intimate contact as well as through shared bedding. The virus spreads through contact with body fluids and sores, Brooks said.
Taking a page from the AIDS playbook, representatives from one United Nations decided to take the viral justice path and decried reports describing the information on the current cases as “homophobic,” referring to racism for good measure.
UNAIDS released a statement on Sunday condemning reporting on monkeypox that includes “portrayals of LGBTI and African people” that the agency said “reinforce homophobic and racist stereotypes and exacerbate stigma.”
“Lessons from the AIDS response show that stigma and blame directed at certain groups of people can rapidly undermine outbreak response,” the group’s statement said.
The U.N. agency added that a “significant portion” of cases reported thus far were “identified among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, with some cases identified through sexual health clinics.”
It urged “media, governments, and communities to respond with a rights-based, evidence-based approach that avoids stigma.”
“Stigma and blame undermine trust and capacity to respond effectively during outbreaks like this one,” UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Matthew Kavanagh said in the agency’s Sunday statement.
A significant portion of the recently reported #Monkeypox cases has been identified among the LGBTI community.@UNAIDS expressed concern on Sunday about some public media reporting and commentary reinforcing homophobic and racist stereotypes.
— UN News (@UN_News_Centre) May 22, 2022
Meanwhile, the CDC is following five suspected US cases spread through four states in the real world.
Utah is now the fourth U.S. state to probe suspected cases of monkeypox, after two individuals fell ill with symptoms of the disease following international travel, state officials reported Monday.
Officials in the state said the two adults — who have not been named — live in the same house in Salt Lake County and began experiencing a ‘mild illness’ shortly after returning from abroad. They are now in isolation and there is ‘no risk’ of wider transmission.
It was not revealed where the individuals had returned from, but the Department of Health said it was an area ‘currently experiencing monkeypox cases’.
A total of five confirmed or suspected cases of the virus — normally confined to West or Central Africa — have now been detected in America. One case has been confirmed in Massachusetts, while infections are still being probed in New York City and Florida.
Globally, more than 100 cases have been detected across at least 16 countries — mostly in Europe — with a disproportionate number among gay and bisexual men.
Biden was asked if the government would impose quarantines due to the spate of cases.
‘No, I don’t think so. Look, we’ve had this monkeypox in larger numbers in the past,’ he said at a press conference in Tokyo after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
‘Number two, we have vaccines to take care of it. Number three, thus far, there doesn’t seem to be the need for any kind of extra efforts beyond what’s going on.
‘I just don’t think it rises to the level of the kind of concern that existed with Covid-19,’ he said, adding that he believes the United States has enough smallpox vaccine stockpiled.
Hopefully, members of the Biden administration won’t walk that statement back like they have had to for others.DONATE
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