According to experts in the United Kingdom, people who are suffering from the monkeypox virus must avoid having sexual relations with other individuals. The government's recommendation came as officials observed that a further 70 cases of this rare illness were confirmed in the UK on Monday. The current outbreak is particularly affecting the “MSM” population, meaning “men who have sex with men”.
In accordance with the most recent guidelines adopted in the UK, people who have been confirmed to be suffering from the disease should make sure they use condoms for sexual activities during the first eight weeks following becoming infected, while “high-risk” close contacts of those infected have been instructed to isolate for 21 days. Pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems have been told to not take care of someone suffering from the illness, if possible, with WHO alerting people of the risk that the condition could cause “congenital monkeypox” or stillbirths.
In all, 172 cases of the disease, which is already prevalent in several African nations, have now been found in the UK. It is believed that this outbreak is due to “risky sexual behavior” amongst “gay and bisexual men at two raves held in Spain and Belgium.” This has resulted in an increase of resources with the intention of educating gay males about the illness; the gay-dating app Grindr even sent general notifications to its European users about the spread.
Although the disease does not have a cure, instances more often than not are not severe and typically disappear between 6 and 13 days, based on published guidelines from experts. However, with more serious cases also becoming possible, some experts are worried about the possibility of the illness spreading to animals, such as pets in the home. Some even go as far as recommending that the pet hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs of those infected must be killed or isolated due to the fear that these rodents may be utilized as a vector for the disease to establish an unabated presence throughout the northern hemisphere.
“Rodent pets should be kept in a monitored facility and in compliance to respiratory isolation (e.g. an animal Laboratory) as well as animal welfare standards (e.g. government facilities or animal welfare organizations) and then checked (by PCR) for exposure before the quarantine expires,” the Telegraph reported European Union (EU) health officials as declaring. “Euthanasia should only be a last resort reserved to situations where testing and/or isolation are not feasible.”