Monkey pox: age, sex, region… Profile of cases identified in France

Nearly 900 cases of monkey pox (“monkeypox” in English) were identified worldwide this Friday… including 51 in France. In detail by region, there are 37 in Île-de-France, 6 in Occitanie, 4 in Auvergne – Rhône-Alpes, 2 in Normandy, 1 in Hauts-de-France and 1 in Centre-Val de Loire . This assessment, communicated by Public Health France, will inevitably increase since suspicious cases are the subject of investigations. On Wednesday, only 33 patients had been identified.

For the first time, the health agency also unveiled many profile elements this Friday evening. 43 of the 45 cases identified Thursday have been investigated. They are only men, aged between 22 and 63 years. Two of them are immunocompromised, one was hospitalized, but none died.

The majority (but not all) of these patients are men who have sex with men, “without direct link with people returning from endemic areas” in Africa. 22 of them had traveled abroad before the onset of their symptoms, but most are unable to say who infected them.

Anyone can be touched

This information is consistent with that observed abroad. Among 190 cases identified in the UK on Wednesday, 87% are aged between 20 and 49 and at least 111 are gay or bisexual men (and have frequented gay bars, saunas and dating apps).

Regarding age, people over 50 are a priori protected against monkeypox since many of them have been vaccinated against “classic” smallpox, eradicated at the end of the 1970s. However, this vaccine provides a kind of protection “cross”. With regard to sexual orientation, several elements (chance of several clusters, more reactive screening, more risky behaviors, etc.) may explain why homosexuals and bisexuals are more affected.

However, health authorities agree that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, can be affected. In the current state of knowledge, transmission occurs mainly through close contact, especially during sexual intercourse.

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