WHO studies reports of monkeypox virus in semen

STORY: The agency reiterated that virus is mainly transmitted via close interpersonal contact. Many of the monkeypox cases confirmed in the current outbreak largely centered in Europe are among sexual partners who have had such close contact.

In recent days, scientists have detected viral DNA in the semen of a handful of monkeypox patients in Italy and Germany, including a lab-tested sample that suggested the virus found in the semen of a single patient was capable of infecting another person and replicating.

WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge warned that a “me-first approach” could have “damaging consequences” and called on countries not to stockpile vaccines.

More than 1,300 cases of the viral disease have been reported by about 30 countries, mostly in Europe, since early May. Most cases have been reported in men who have sex with men.

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