NBC News: Monkey pox spreads mostly through male-to-male sex, CDC updates communication strategy

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Editor’s note: The following report contains graphic language about sexually transmitted infections monkey pox.

An NBC News report Wednesday poked holes in the public health narrative that the main spreader of monkeypox was skin-to-skin contact, not sex, and cited scientists who urged the Centers for Disease Control to update its links. infectious disease.

NBC’s Benjamin Ryan reports that mounting evidence in recent weeks “experts may have completely reversed the spread of monkeypox.”

“Since the beginning of the global monkeypox epidemic in May, public health and infectious disease experts have told the public that the virus is transmitted primarily through skin-to-skin contact, particularly through sex between men,” NBC reported. “Now, however, a growing cadre of experts believe that sex between men itself — anal and oral sex — is the main driver of the global transmission of monkeypox. These experts say skin-to-skin contact is probably a much smaller risk factor.”

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Accurate information about the highest risk transmission behavior is critical because it includes recommendations for isolation, risk of infection, and other factors. It cites studies of the virus found in semen, with one scientist noting that “increasing evidence suggests that the current MPX epidemic is sexually transmitted, particularly via seminal fluid.”

A Westchester Medical Center worker administers monkeypox vaccine to a person at the monkeypox vaccination station at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, U.S., July 28, 2022.
(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Other evidence cited was the prevalence of the disease among men aged 18-44 (more than 75 percent of global cases) and the majority of cases in the anorectal or genital tract, suggesting that the virus was transmitted sexually the first time. in conjunction

“As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health agencies are updating their strategies for dealing with monkeypox,” NBC News told NBC News.

Medium blog quoted on NBC by Drs. Lao-Tzu Allan-Blitz and Jeffrey D. Klausner found strong evidence that monkeypox was a sexually transmitted disease.

“…the temporal and anatomical association with various sexual practices, the prevalence of sexually risky behavior among human monkeypox patients, and in vitro The infectivity of human monkeypox DNA isolated from semen strongly suggests that human monkeypox is sexually transmitted,” they wrote, worrying about the potential “stigma” of labeling it an STD.

The first case of human-to-pet transmission was in a greyhound monkey.

The first case of human-to-pet transmission was in a greyhound monkey.

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“Conversely, failure to properly identify the dominant method of transmission and publicize it perpetuates infectious behavior,” they wrote.

The World Health Organization’s technical director has pushed back, saying “we don’t yet know” how monkeypox is primarily transmitted.

The CDC’s current monkeypox guidelines state: “Monkeypox can be spread to anyone through close, personal contact, usually through skin-to-skin contact, including: ‘Direct contact with the monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids of a person who has monkeypox.’ “Touching. Items, fabrics (clothes, sheets or towels) and surfaces used by a person with monkeypox” and “Respiratory contact”.

A registered nurse prepares a dose of monkeypox vaccine at the Salt Lake County Health Department, Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Salt Lake City.

A registered nurse prepares a dose of monkeypox vaccine at the Salt Lake County Health Department, Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Salt Lake City.
((AP Photo/Rick Baumer, File))

The report comes as the CDC, which has been a public fist for more than two years, undergoes a reorganization at the behest of director Dr. Rochelle Valensky.

“For 75 years, the CDC and public health have been preparing for COVID-19, and in our biggest moment, our performance has fallen short of expectations,” he said in a Washington Post report this week. “My goal is a new culture focused on public health efforts at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication and timeliness.”

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Fox News’ Stephen Soras contributed to this report.

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