Monkeypox can be controlled if we act now, says WHO - SABC NewsEnglish 

Gay men, some trans people and sex workers should be vaccinated against monkeypox, French health authority says – SABC News

France’s health authority HAS recommended on Friday an expansion of the monkeypox vaccination campaign, saying those most at risk of contracting the virus through sex should get vaccinated.

“Men who have sex with other men and trans people who have multiple sexual partners” should be vaccinated, HAS said, as should people engaged in prostitution or otherwise working in “sexual consumption areas”.

Until now, the HAS has only recommended “reactive” vaccination, saying that as soon as a confirmed case of monkeypox is found, adults who have been in contact with the patient should be vaccinated.

But in view of the spread of the monkeypox virus and the difficulties in tracing the contacts of infected individuals, the HAS now recommends preventive vaccination for some groups it believes are at particular risk.

The viral illness, which causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, does not spread as easily as COVID, and there are vaccines and treatments available.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization reported two new deaths, bringing the total to three since the start of the year, and said the disease had spread to new areas.

Data from the French health administration showed that 97% of monkeypox cases were linked to gay men, 75% of whom said they had had sex with several men in the weeks leading up to their symptoms, HAS said.

In its press release, the health authority did not provide any data on the other groups targeted by its recommendations, but said contact tracing was particularly difficult “around anonymous sex”.

Vaccination “can be considered on a case-by-case basis for professionals who have to deal with sick people”, the body said, but added that it did not recommend at this stage a general vaccination campaign for medical staff.

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