Andy Seale, from the agency's department for HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, told a briefing yesterday that there was no

WHO insists Pride parades pose a low risk of monkeypox as most transmissions are linked to nightclubs

Pride parades pose little risk of spread monkey pox because most transmissions are related to “enclosed spaces” such as night clubs, a World Health Organization counselor hinted.

Andy Seale, from the agency’s department for HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, told a briefing yesterday that there was ‘no reason to worry’ about catching the virus during these events.

He added that many of the cases recorded so far had been attributed to indoor gatherings leading to physical contact, the main route of transmission for the virus.

The WHO adviser added that condoms would not prevent a person from becoming infected, pointing out that infectious skin lesions could appear anywhere on the body, including in the genital area.

Pride parades are due to take place across the United States in June amid organizers’ concerns about endemic virus cases in West Africa.

The outbreak in Europe – which has now reached more than 400 cases – was caused in part by unprotected sex after a Pride event in Spain and at a fetish festival in Belgium, WHO chiefs have suggested .

In Britain, people with new rashes are now told to abstain from sex or close contact with others ‘until their lesions have healed and the scabs have dried’ .

In the United States, a total of 15 cases have been recorded in eight states. They mainly concern gay and bisexual men and are linked to overseas travel, although there are now signs that the virus could be spreading in America.

Andy Seale, from the agency’s department for HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, told a briefing yesterday that there was ‘no reason to worry’ about catching the virus during these events.

The WHO says Pride parades should go ahead as normal.  Pictured are people celebrating Pride in San Diego, California

The WHO says Pride parades should go ahead as normal. Pictured are people celebrating Pride in San Diego, California

Speaking at the conference, Seale said: ‘From our perspective, we’d like to send a message that it’s important that people who want to go out and celebrate LGBTQ+ gay pride continue to do so.

“Most of these events are outdoors, they are family-friendly.

“We see no reason to be concerned about an increased likelihood of transmission in this setting, as the parts we examined were in more enclosed spaces etc.”

A monkeypox patient in Massachusetts suffered from rashes, fever and fluid-filled blisters

America’s First monkey pox patient this year had ‘smallpox-like’ fluid-filled blisters erupting on his scalp, palms and soles of his feet, doctors said.

The man – who has not been named – was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital on May 12 with a fever and rash after antibiotics failed to ward off his illness.

Doctors initially believed the patient had chickenpox, a sexually transmitted disease like herpes, or even an allergic reaction. But skin and blood tests for these diseases in the hospital’s specialist laboratory have repeatedly come back negative.

The link to monkeypox wasn’t established until the blisters appeared.

The man was the first confirmed case of the virus in the United States this year, and the first sign that the outbreak in Europe had crossed the Atlantic to America.

During the briefing, Seale also gave advice that wearing a condom would not be enough to stop the spread of the virus.

“We shouldn’t hesitate to remember that it is always useful to talk about condoms, for example to protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

“But for monkeypox, condoms won’t provide an extra layer of protection, since close bodily contact is the main risk factor.”

Monkeypox infections begin with a fever before a rash appears on the face.

About five days later, lesions also appear on the skin.

Many cases are mild and go away on their own within four weeks. But between one in ten and one in 100 people infected die from the disease.

It is mainly transmitted through physical contact with broken skin, with people only able to transmit the virus when they show symptoms.

Last week, the WHO called on gay and bisexual men to take precautions to limit their exposure to the virus.

They said anyone with symptoms should self-isolate at home and avoid skin-to-skin contact with others.

They were also told to keep their hands and regularly touched surfaces clean and to wear a mask if they came into close contact with other people.

They said: “Monkey pox can be spread through close skin-to-skin contact during sex, including kissing, touching, oral and penetrative sex with a person with symptoms.

“Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms.”

Last week, LGBT dating app Grindr sent out a monkeypox alert urging gay and bisexual men to be aware of symptoms of the virus.

The warning was issued last night to users across Europe, advising them to contact their sexual health service provider if they experience any unusual sores or rashes.

UK health chiefs are now ordering potential monkeypox patients to avoid having sex with others.

In guidance released on Monday, they said: “People with possible, probable or confirmed monkeypox should avoid contact with other people until their lesions have healed and the scabs have dried off.

“Do not go to a sexual health clinic without contacting them first. Stay home and avoid close contact with other people until you are told what to do.

Globally, monkeypox has now been spotted in over 20 countries where it is not native, mostly in Europe.

Health chiefs say the virus was likely circulating for some time – potentially as early as March 15 – but went undetected.

A total of 15 cases have been spotted in the US so far, with Florida today revealing it has detected another potential case.

They mainly concern gay and bisexual men and have been linked to trips abroad with people returning from Canada or Europe.

A case in Virginia – in a woman – was traced during a recent trip from an area of ​​Africa where it is endemic.

There are now potential cases of human-to-human transmission reported on US soil, a sign that the outbreak is still circulating undiagnosed.

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