Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, advised gay and bisexual men at risk of contracting monkeypox to limit their sexual partners “for the time being.”
According to the Associated Press, 98 percent of the cases detected since the outbreaks began have been among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, and they must account for their actions and take steps to protect themselves.
“For men who have sex with men, that means making safe choices for yourself and others,” Tedros explained. “For the time being, this includes reducing your number of sexual partners.”
Infectious individuals should isolate and avoid close, physical contact, while people should obtain contact information for any new sexual partners in case they need to follow up later, the World Health Organization chief said, repeating an earlier message urging caution.
“We know very clearly that one of the main modes of exposure for this particular illness is through direct contact, close contact, skin to skin contact, possibly even face to face contact, exposure to droplets or virus that may be in the mouth,” said Dr. Rosamund Lewis, World Health Organization’s technical lead for monkeypox.
So far, the vast majority of infections have been observed in men who have sex with men.
According to the U.N.-subsidiary, more than 19,000 cases have been reported in more than 75 countries; deaths have only been reported in Africa.