According to the UN, the WHO, and the UK Health Security Agency, western cases of Monkeypox are mostly occurring among adult homosexual males. Dr. David Heymann, a former leader of the World Health Organization [WHO], says that sexual encounters likely facilitate the spread. “It’s very possible there was somebody who got infected, developed lesions on the genitals, hands or somewhere else, and then spread it to others when there was sexual or close, physical contact.”
Researchers claim that the strain of Monkeypox is directly related to a strain that infected people in Britain, Israel, and Singapore back in 2018 and 2019. The source of this outbreak is believed to have come from Nigeria.
The countries with the most significant number of cases are Spain and Portugal. Most of these cases have been identified when the infected person went to a sexual health clinic after developing lesions.
Enrique Ruiz Escudero, Madrid Minister of Health, says his department is investigating links to a giant “Gay Pride” event held in the Canary Islands. The event was called Maspalomas Gay Pride 2022 and took place in Gran Canaria from May 5th and May 15th. About 80k people attended.
Escudero says further cases in the Madrid area have been traced to bathhouses, reminiscent of the spread of AIDs in the 1980s.
There are currently five confirmed cases in Spain. All of these cases are either in the Canary Islands or Madrid.
Germany’s government, which says the spread “mainly appears to lie with sexual contacts among men,” has also fingered Maspalomas Gay Pride. German investigators say that the infection was likely brought back to Berlin from the event. It then spread further among homosexual males at a rave party in Berlin.
Dr. Heymann says that Monkeypox is not a serious threat to most people because it usually only spreads through very close intimate contact.
Nevertheless, the US government has already ordered $119 million worth of Monkeypox vaccines. Several other European nations are considering buying vaccines as well.
Belgium reports that local cases have also been traced to a dance party where sexual encounters took place. That country has instituted a 21-day quarantine for anyone known to be infected.