Who Is Most At Risk For Monkeypox?
Historically = people in close contact with animals
Monkeypox was an illness that, for a long time, was believed to only infect people via animals (Rodriguez-Morales, & Lopardo, 2022).
In West Africa people got it from rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice, different species of monkeys, etc (WHO, 2022). The main host that is spreading monkeypox to humans has not been proven, but scientists suspect it may be rodents like rats (WHO, 2022).
Seen from left to right, a rope squirrel, an African Tree Squirrel, a Gambian Poached rat, & the Samango Monkey (an example of a West African Monkey). In the bottom left corner, that’s a little dormouse.
In 2022 = Something has changed
During the 2022 multi-country outbreak, the virus has been spreading through human-to-human transmission (Rodriguez-Morales, & Lopardo, 2022). The people that have been passing it along have predominately been non-travellers, who to a large extent are men who have sex with men (Rodriguez-Morales, & Lopardo, 2022).
According to Rodriguez-Morales, and Lopardo (2022), some studies early data is suggests that the risk factors for catching monkeypox are:
● Being a young man between 18 and 44 years old (Groome, 2022)
● Having sex with other men,
● & engaging in risky behaviours and activities.
● Condom-less sex,
● Being HIV positive,
● And having a history of previous STI infections, including syphilis.
What Do Other Experts Say?
Studies don’t all just ‘agree’.
There was another group of researchers who looked into community transmission in the UK from April to May 2022 (Vivancos et al., 2022). Their study suggested that although sexual contact is a risk factor, so are:
● People on a flight with a positive case,
● Healthcare workers treating an infected patient,
● Or close family members or friends (Vivancos et al., 2022).
Plus, it should be remembered that anyone – regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation – can catch monkeypox if they have close contact with someone infected with the virus (Vivancos et al., 2022).