The US health body has offered advice on how to avoid contracting monkeypox during the act
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines for “protected sex” amid the spread of the monkeypox virus, urging romantic partners to take steps to reduce exposure to the rare disease.
Released Friday and titled “Safer Sex, Social Gatherings, and Monkeypox,” the CDC document advises partners to be careful of “any new or unexplained rash or lesion” on various parts of the body, a distinct symptom of the monkeypox virus.
While the agency said vaccination against monkeypox would provide protection, it added that the currently limited supply of doses could mean some will not have access to a vaccination.
Short of a shot, then, the CDC suggested individuals avoid “anonymous sexual contact” and “Private and public sex parties”, offer instead “contactless virtual sex in person.” Alternatively, lovers could also “masturbate together from a distance without touching each other and without touching any rash”, Where “Consider having sex with [their] clothes,” the document continued.
More than 6,000 monkeypox infections have been confirmed in the United States since May, with a disproportionate number among gay men. While it’s unclear whether the virus is spread primarily through sex itself or simply through the prolonged contact involved in sexual intercourse, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said said last month that men “With several sexual intercourse” same-sex partners are particularly at risk.
The White House on Thursday followed the WHO’s lead in declaring monkeypox a public health emergency, with US Health Secretary Xavier Becerra calling “Every American needs to take monkeypox seriously.”
Although rare, the virus has already been detected in the United States, with a Texas resident hospitalized with monkeypox last summer after traveling to West Africa, where the pathogen is endemic. In 2003, more than 70 cases were confirmed in the United States, marking the first outbreak seen outside of Africa, according to the WHO.
US leads world in monkeypox cases
Symptoms include fever, head and muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion, as well as rashes, sores, and skin lesions. Most infections clear without serious illness, but the virus is fatal in a small percentage of cases.
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