Monkey pox

The Safe Drinking Coordinator for the ARMS Outaouais and sexologist, Alexandre Albert, remarks that in the men we join at ARMSthere is more concern.

They feel a little helpless in front of the situation, because they don’t really know where to go, the information is not too clear in relation to the mode of transmissionhe said in an interview on the show Mornings hereadding that some people may not know their monkeypox status.

This combination of factors makes it difficult to adapt behaviors to avoid contracting the virus. In order to avoid stigma, there are many who will hide a little more or try to change their behavior.

The Bureau régional d’action sida (BRAS) Outaouais says it sees more concern in connection with simian pox among the men reached by the organization (archives).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Yasmine Mehdi

It can also be more difficult to transmit this message of prevention, in particular to men who have sex with other men, according to Alexandre Albert, since it is a community that has long been stigmatized by the HIV and that feels somewhat in the same situation with this new smallpox.

Unlike the crisis of HIV/AIDS, Alexandre Albert argues that, in the context of the appearance of monkeypox, prevention methods and vaccination campaigns have been put in place, some of which for close contacts and others for men with sex with other men.

We know that the more we stigmatize, the less people will go to get tested, the less people will take charge of their health. We are able to put that into context and people are able to see it, especially when we list the risky behaviors, we realize that it’s not just a group that will have these behaviors, but it’s not bad everyone. »

A quote from Alexandre Albert, sexologist and safe consumption coordinator for the ARMS Outaouais

This prevention and willingness to discuss monkeypox is distinct from the times of the HIV/AIDS, according to him, where we were trying to hide it and where we were trying to say, “this just belongs to gay men”.

A virus that is not unknown

Dr. Hugues Loemba, who is a virologist, medical researcher, family physician and associate professor at the University of Ottawa, insists that anyone can be infected by the virus causing monkeypox.

It is simply a coincidence that men who have had sex with other men have been infected with the disease. Ultimately, anyone who is in close contact with an infected person can contract monkeypox.

Above all, we must avoid mixing things up, because we saw that with the HIV. There were too many confusions. We pointed the finger at certain communities for nothing […]. Anyone can be infected with this disease. »

A quote from Dr. Hughes Loemba, virologist, medical researcher, family physician and associate professor at the University of Ottawa

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Person-to-person transmission of monkeypox virus occurs through close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials, such as beddingis it stated on any of their web pages about this (New window) (external link).

The risk of contracting monkeypox is not limited to sexually active people or men who have sex with men. Anyone who has close physical contact with an infectious person is at risk of contracting the disease. »

A quote from Excerpt from the World Health Organization website

Dr. Loemba tells in an interview on the show The mornings here that the very first case was discovered in a laboratory monkey in 1958, in Denmark, but that the disease was detected in 1970, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Symptoms of monkeypox resemble somewhat to the symptoms of human smallpoxa disease eradicated in 1979, but it is much milder than smallpox and the disease is less lethal too than compared to human smallpox.

Virologist Hugues Loemba from Hôpital Montfort in Ottawa (archives).

Photo: Photo provided by Dr. Hugues Loemba

For monkeypox, Dr. Loemba says the incubation period can range from one to three weeks. Two or three days after exposure to the virus, he says, general symptoms may begin to appear, including fever, swollen glands, muscle aches and fatigue.

Then, towards the end of the first week and the beginning of the second week, the infected person may have rashes, consisting of pustules, which begin to appear on the face, especially near the mouth, followed by itching, opening of the pustules which will ulcerate and which will reject a biological liquid.

Although physical contact with this biological fluid, with these rashes or even with the bedding of an infected person can increase the risk of contracting the virus, it can be contagious from the first days, according to Dr. Loemba.

Anyone who sees the appearance of pustules on their body should contact public health and see a medical professional in order to get a diagnosis, says Dr Loemba, then, we will do an epidemiological history to see if [la personne] was exposed to someone who had monkeypox.

In the case of a diagnosis of monkeypox in a person, we vaccinate the people around, those who have been at high risk of contamination as a preventive measure, in the days following exposure to the virus, explains the virologist.

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