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Health officials: Monkeypox is not like AIDS epidemic


The United Nations and U.S. Centers for Disease control have made it clear that the recent spread of monkeypox is not akin to the AIDS epidemic. The agencies also warned that a stigma related to the LBGTQ community affects the ability to respond effectively to outbreaks.

Monkeypox cases have been reported in at least 16 countries with a significant number of cases among gay and bisexual men. While the virus is not sexually transmitted, it is contracted through close contact, generally through the transmission of bodily fluids.

“Anyone, anyone, can develop and spread monkeypox infection, but many of those affected in the current global outbreak identified as gay and bisexual men,” said Dr. John Brooks, a CDC official with the division of HIV/AIDS prevention.

The initial symptoms of monkeypox mirror flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills and exhaustion. It escalates into lesions or raised poxes which spread on the skin and eventually scab and clear up within two to three weeks, according to the CDC.

The disease is rarely deadly, with less than a one percent mortality rate. Health officials said the general public is at low risk of contracting monkeypox, but anyone who presents symptoms should seek medical attention.

The U.S. is working to stockpile the smallpox vaccine, which is also used to prevent monkeypox.

Mahmoud Bennett: There’s a disease that’s spreading around the world

It’s called monkeypox – and already hundreds of cases have been reported in at least 16 countries.

A significant portion of the cases have been identified among gay and bisexual men.

But the United Nations and the CDC want to make it clear – this is not the AIDS epidemic.

They say stigma and blame can undermine trust and the ability to respond effectively during outbreaks.

Monkeypox is transmitted through close contact usually involving bodily fluids.

Initial symptoms are flu like – think fever, chills and exhaustion

It also has a distinct feature:
Lesions or raised poxes that spread on the skin – they eventually scab and resolve
within a period of 2-3 weeks, that’s according to the CDC.

The infection is rarely deadly – occurring in less than one-percent of cases.

It’s also controlable with the smallpox vaccine- something now being stockpiled in the U.S.

The CDC says the risk to the general public is low but to seek medical attention if you develop symptoms