In the past, the Monkeypox virus did not easily travel between humans, but it may have discovered a new niche in closely knit sexual implications.

Two major questions have lingered ever since monkeypox began to sicken thousands of people around the world this spring: Why has the Monkeypox Virus only ever caused a few cases outside of Africa now producing such a massive, global outbreak? And why are males who have sex with men by far the bulk of those affected?

The following questions may be related, according to a lengthy history of research on sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) and early investigations of the present outbreak: It’s possible that the virus entered the MSM community’s highly linked sexual networks, where it may spread in ways that the general population cannot.

That theory is supported by an epidemiological modeling investigation published as a preprint last week by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). It implies that if the spread is not stopped, the outbreak will continue to expand quickly. While indicating that the danger for the larger population is still minimal, it also has implications for how to protect individuals who are most vulnerable and prevent spread.

Even WHO has warned the MSM community to limit their sexual relationships for a while until the virus dies down. Long-term relationships between two males or an exclusive small group will definitely not be affected nevertheless.

It is obvious that sexual contact contributes to transmission. 82 of the 152 individuals in the UKHSA data set were asked to do extra interviews that concentrated on their sexual health. 44 percent of the 45 participants reported having had more than 10 sexual partners in the three months prior, and 44 percent disclosed having engaged in group sex during the incubation period. It’s unclear exactly how the virus spreads.

Even while some patients’ semen contained an infectious virus and viral DNA, researchers are unsure if this is necessary for transmission; skin-to-skin interaction may be sufficient.


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