As the fight to overcome COVID-19 and its growing variants continues, another health crisis is taking over the states.
There are currently over 4,600 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States, and the World Health Organization is looking to halt it before it spreads any further by talking to the community it appears to be affecting the most.
At a press conference in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that 98% of the more than 18,000 recent monkeypox cases reported to the organization have been men who slept with other men.
He now wants those in that community to take precautions to save themselves from experiencing the harmful effects of the virus.
“This is an outbreak that can be stopped if countries, communities, and individuals inform themselves, take the risks seriously, and take the steps needed to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups,” Tedros said. “For men who have sex with men, this includes, for the moment, reducing your number of sexual partners, reconsidering sex with new partners, and exchanging contact details with any new partners to enable follow-up if needed.”
The CDC has also released some guidelines for prevention which include avoiding skin-to-skin contact like kissing, hugging cuddling, and sharing objects with people who have monkey pox. Similiar to COVID-19, hand washing with soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also recommended.
Contact from people aside, everyone is being told in places like Central and West Africa to avoid contact with animals that can spread the monkeypox virus, like rodents and primates.
While the LGBTQIA+ community may be affected the most, the community’s activists are calling on the Biden Administration to provide the necessary outreach to disadvantaged populations by way of vaccines, proper education, testing, and treatment.