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Calm Headed Advice from WHO over Monkeypox

30/07/2022

The World Health Organisation has reportedly been deadlocked in recent days over how best to proceed in the medical battle against the current, large and unusual, outbreak of monkeypox. However, to move the discussion forward, the Guardian newspaper reports that Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director General, has declared the outbreak to be a “Public health Emergency of International Concern”, putting governments on alert that monkeypox is an issue that needs addressing. Such an alert has been activated nine times in the last ten years, with Coronavirus being the most obvious recent occurrance. There have been some sixteen thousand monkeypox cases globally, primarily in Europe, and five deaths in this outbreak. The illness is not usually serious, but the WHO reports that new vectors of transmission appear to be in play currently. The WHO said the outbreak was largely among men who have sex with men who had reported having sex recently with new or multiple partners. However, experts have stressed that anyone can get monkeypox as it is spread by close or intimate contact, with the UN having warned that some media portrayals of Africans and LGBTQ+ people “reinforce homophobic and racist stereotypes and exacerbate stigma”. The Terrence Higgins Trust, the sexual health charity rooted in the LGBTQ+ communities, reminded people that monkeypox is neither Covid nor HIV, saying “The illness is usually mild and most people recover in two to four weeks.” For sane, responsible and non-judgemental advice and support on monkeypox, visit the THT website, or health and wellbeing charity LGBT Hero.  

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