The possibility that the monkeypox virus has been spread at raves in Europe is ‘now a leading theory’, a former World Health Organisation chief has reportedly said. It comes as confirmed monkeypox cases in the UK have more than doubled to 57.
The figure, released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), was an increase from the previously confirmed 20 cases. Transmission between people is occurring in the UK, with a large proportion of cases identified in the gay, bisexual and men who have sex with other men community. Monkeypox is not normally a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be passed on by direct contact during sex.
The new theory about the spread of the disease came from Professor David Heymann, the World Health Organisation’s former assistant director-general for health security and environment. In an interview with Associated Press he is reported to have said a leading theory to explain the spread of the disease was sexual transmission at raves in Europe.
It comes after Madrid’s senior health official Enrique Ruiz Escudero said authorities are investigating possible links between a recent Gay Pride event in the Canary Islands – attended by around 80,000 people – and cases at a Madrid sauna, reports NBC news.