Four days ago the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency. The last such declaration took place in 2020 with COVID-19. Unlike COVID-19, however, monkeypox has not proven fatal but causes fever and an itchy, painful rash coupled with a high infection rate.

There are currently 3,500 confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide, with 2,890 confirmed to be in the United States.

According to The CDC, here are four ways to keep your health in check: 

  1. Avoid close [this includes intimate] physical contact with people who are infected. 
  2. Avoid kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with others.
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water often.
  4. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Where is the monkeypox vaccine?

The vaccination, manufactured by a Dutch company, Bavarian Nordic, is now sending 800,000 doses to prevent what could become an even more massive outbreak as cases have begun to be reported in New York City. Previous doses have already been disseminated in states already affected by monkeypox. In particular, Georgia, where a gay man traveling internationally was first diagnosed with the disease. Since then, there has been an outbreak in the state amongst the local gay populace, largely in Atlanta.

Monkeypox and Gay and Bisexual Men

Men who have sex with men currently have the highest risk of infection from monkeypox. Earlier today, WHO recommended gay and bisexual men limit their sexual partners in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus.

“For men who have sex with men, this includes for the moment, reducing your number of sexual partners, reconsidering considering sex with new partners, and exchanging contact details with any new partners to enable follow up if needed,” stated WHO’s Director-Chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Tedros went on to encourage media and officials to help fight stigma and discrimination against the homophobia surrounding the spread, believing it will only fuel the spread of the virus.

“The stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus and can fuel the outbreak. As we have seen with Covid-19 misinformation, and this information can spread rapidly online,” the WHO chief said.”

Many people have erroneously conflated the current treatment of monkeypox with HIV at its height during the eighties. As aforementioned, monkeypox is preventable, not fatal, there is vaccination, and it does not impair the human immune system. We will relay more information about growing health issues as it becomes available.

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