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Monkeypox is primarily spread among women and non-binary people through sexual contact, but some infections may fly under the radar because they are often misdiagnosed as other sexually transmitted diseases, a study published Thursday found. according to the study. knife Medical Journal, important findings that provide much-needed insight into how disease affects non-binary people and cisgender and transgender women.

Key Facts

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The study, the first to focus on monkeypox transmission among cisgender and transgender women and non-binary people assigned female at birth, found that sexual contact was responsible for 73% of monkeypox infections in this group.

There were significant differences between cis women and non-binary people and trans women, the researchers said, given that nearly all monkeypox infections among trans women are thought to be acquired through sexual contact.

In contrast, about 24% of cis women and non-binary people were thought to have acquired monkeypox outside of sexual contact, the researchers said, which includes household exposure and occupational exposure among healthcare workers.

Based on data from 136 women (69 cis, 62 trans) in 15 countries and five non-binary people with confirmed cases between May 11 and October 4—compares rates of near-100% transmission through sexual contact among men Do it.

As with many cases during the global outbreak, the researchers said the symptoms matched those of possible routes of transmission—anal and genital sores have been characteristic—and were often misdiagnosed as sexually transmitted infections, particularly CIS. in women.

Some 33% of cis women received a misdiagnosis before a diagnosis of monkeypox was confirmed and nearly half experienced a delay and required more than one appointment to receive a diagnosis.

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Monkeypox has caused limited and sporadic outbreaks in parts of Africa for decades, although it was largely ignored in the rest of the world until it began to spread more widely this year Happened. The global outbreak differed in scope, scale, geographic extent, speed, and demographics from previous outbreaks, which typically stemmed from virus spread from relatively limited, unstable, and unknown animal reservoirs (likely rodents). data from the outbreak suggests that the virus is spreading almost exclusively through sex between gays, bisexuals and other men who have sex with men, and it was accompanied by a different set of symptoms than those seen in previous outbreaks. Treatment and vaccination options for monkeypox are limited – few exist and most were developed for use against smallpox, a related disease that has been eradicated – and supplies are critically short, as countries where monkeypox has historically been endemic They are presumably last in line while wealthy countries buy stocks. the outbreak To appear Slowing down, probably more due to behavioral changes in at-risk groups than vaccination efforts.

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However, women account for a very small fraction of monkeypox infections reported during the current global outbreak, researchers on Thursday reported. knife The study said they "anticipate that this may change as the outbreak develops." Study findings, especially higher rates of misdiagnosis and multiple appointments before confirmation of diagnosis among cis women and non-binary people compared to trans women, training and awareness of monkeypox among health professionals beyond sexual health clinics highlights the need for improvement.

tangent line

The potential for monkeypox to spread to children was a significant concern during the global outbreak, and this group is particularly at high risk of severe disease. While many experts believed monkeypox Yield little risk For children, there are fears that the virus would establish itself in the population as the children got older. These fears have not passed and although some children have contracted monkeypox, they make up a small fraction of the total number of cases worldwide. The researchers said their study also suggests limited risk to children. Only two children living in the homes of the cis women included in the study got monkeypox, although 26% had children living in their own homes, the researchers said, consistent with previous research suggesting a "very limited range of transmission". Pregnant people are also at higher risk of severe disease from monkeypox, although the researchers said their study cannot shed light on this issue because it included only two pregnant people who had not yet delivered.

big number

80,064. How many cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 100 places across the world so far this year? according for CDC data. Fewer than 1,000 of these infections have been recorded in places where monkeypox has historically been reported, although cases are likely to increase. undocumented in some of these areas. Some 51 deaths linked to monkeypox have been reported so far, 13 of which were in places where outbreaks have historically been reported.

amazing facts

Prior to the global outbreak, monkeypox was not considered a sexually transmitted disease. Transmission almost exclusively in networks of men who have sex with men highlighted the possibility, although there is a difference between something that occurs through close contact with sex and something that can only be achieved in a sexual setting. is, for example semen or vaginal fluid. Increasingly, evidence is emerging that monkeypox may possibly fit into both categories. The virus has previously been found in the semen of men with monkeypox. The researchers of this study also tested vaginal swabs for the virus, finding monkeypox DNA in all 14 swabs. This reinforces the idea that monkeypox can be transmitted through bodily fluids as well as through close skin-to-skin contact.

important quotes

Lead study author Chloe Orkin, a professor of HIV medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said case definitions during the global outbreak have "concentrated on the most affected groups, sexually active men," which poses a public health concern. Let's add Attempts have been made to reach this group. "However, as the outbreak progresses, it is important to also focus on underrepresented groups such as women and non-binary individuals to better understand their risk," as well as to understand "how the infection spreads among women." appears" so that the doctor can recognize it.

Scientists warn dangerous monkeypox variant spreading in central Africa could spark new outbreaks (Forbes)

Monkeypox cases down in the US - can the virus be eradicated? (NPR)