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Debunked: Can Monkeypox Spread Through Sexual Transmission?


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mentioned in a statement that the sexual transmission of monkeypox, as well as asymptomatic infection, remains to be a mystery to scientists

Monkeypox continues to spread throughout the globe. However, the virus remains to be an enigma to scientists. Until the current outbreak, monkeypox has usually only been seen in parts of central and western Africa. Recent research efforts are going into what caused the current and latest outbreak.

Sexual Transmission

The CDC said in a press release that it is in the process of learning about whether the transmission of the virus can occur through semen or vaginal fluids.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) records, the majority of monkeypox cases have so far occurred in men who have sex with other men (MSM). These data have led experts to believe the virus entered the population through sexual contact.

Monkeypox is transmitted primarily through close physical contact, according to scientists. The question of whether it spreads through sexual fluids, however, remains unanswered.

It would be uncharacteristic of the virus if it spread through sexual activity. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has issued a warning against homophobic and racist stereotypes in the wake of the current status of the virus.

CDC mentioned in a press release that in the current monkeypox outbreak, it has been established that those with the disease generally describe close, sustained physical contact with other people who are infected with the monkeypox virus. CDC continues to study other possible modes of transmission, such as through semen and vaginal fluids.

The CDC also pointed out that the team is still in the process of learning about those who are asymptomatic but are infected with the virus. In addition, it has not been confirmed whether a person infected but displaying no symptoms can spread the virus.

CDC stated that there is a possibility that people with symptoms are most likely associated with the current spread, especially for some people who may have very mild illness and not know they are infected.

Read also: WHO Elevates Severity of Monkeypox Virus Infection Into ‘Moderate Risk’ Facing the Global Public Health

Unlike COVID-19 and Measles

The CDC’s recent statement came after a week of debate over whether monkeypox can be transmitted via airborne particles. The CDC issued new guidelines advising infected individuals to wear a mask. Many experts, however, believe that direct contact is still the most common mode of transmission.

The CDC further stated in the press release that, unlike COVID-19, the monkeypox virus cannot be spread when having casual conversations or walking past someone with the virus in a grocery store.

CDC explained that the monkeypox virus is a completely different virus from the viruses that cause COVID-19 or measles. It is not known to linger in the air and is not transmitted during short periods of shared airspace, Newsweek reports.

Monkeypox is spread by direct contact with body fluids or blisters on the body of someone who has the virus, or by direct contact with items that have come into contact with body fluids or sores, including clothing or linens. According to the CDC. When people are in close, face-to-face contact, it can also spread through respiratory secretions.

Related article: Monkeypox Has Been Silently Spreading For Years, First Mistaken as STIs 


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