WHO Analyzes Reports of Monkeypox Virus in Semen | Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) is reviewing reports that the monkeypox virus is present in the semen of patients, exploring the possibility that the disease could be transmitted sexually, a WHO official said on Wednesday. .

Many cases in the current monkeypox outbreak, largely centered in Europe, are between sexual partners, and the agency reiterated that the virus is transmitted primarily through close person-to-person contact.

In recent days, scientists say they have detected viral DNA in the semen of some monkeypox patients in Italy and Germany, including a lab-tested sample that suggested the virus found in the semen of a single patient was capable of infecting another person. and replicate.

Catherine Smallwood, Monkeypox incident manager at WHO/Europe, said it is not known whether recent reports mean that the monkeypox virus may be sexually transmitted.

“This may have been something that we weren’t aware of in this disease,” she told a news conference.

“We really need to focus on the most frequent mode of transmission and we clearly see that this is associated with skin-to-skin contact.”

More than 1,300 cases of the viral illness have been reported from around 30 countries since early May. Most cases have been reported in men who have sex with men.

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