Adult sauna temporarily closes after monkeypox cases

monkeypox cdc photo
Images: US Center for Disease Control

A sex-on-premises venue in Spain has temporarily closed after it was linked to confirmed cases of monkeypox in the country.

A total of 15 countries around the world, predominantly in Europe, have confirmed over 100 cases of the rare but typically mild virus MPXV, commonly known as monkeypox.

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can also develop, often with itchy or painful lesions. The rash often begins on the face before spreading to other parts of the body, including the genitals.

In Spain, Madrid’s regional health minister Enrique Ruiz Escudero said there were 30 confirmed cases in the country.

Most of the cases in Madrid “had a link” to one adult sauna catering to gay men in the city, he said. The sex-on-premises venue temporarily closed as a precaution.

All of Spain’s cases had mild symptoms and no specific treatment was necessary, authorities said.

In Belgium, organisers of Darklands fetish festival in Antwerp notified patrons of three confirmed cases linked to the event.

Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection, though it can spread through prolonged direct intimate contact during sex, or others’ contact with clothing or linens.

However the virus does not spread easily, is usually mild and most people recover within a few weeks.

Israel, Switzerland and Austria are among the latest countries to confirm monkeypox cases. They follow the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

Australians urged to be alert after international travel

Australian health authorities confirmed the first two monkeypox cases in returned travellers late last week.

A Melbourne man in his 30s has monkeypox after recently visiting the UK. In Sydney, a man in his 40s also has the virus after returning from Europe.

On Friday, NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant urged gay and bi men in particular to watch for symptoms.

“A large proportion of the cases detected overseas are among gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men,” Dr Chant said.

“We are urging men who are gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions.

“Be particularly vigilant if you have returned from overseas from large parties, or sex on premises venues overseas.

“The infection is usually a mild illness and most people recover within a few weeks.”

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill echoed Dr Chant’s call and said Australians who’ve recently travelled overseas in Europe and the US should be on alert.

“We particularly urge those who attended dance parties, sex parties or saunas in Europe to be vigilant for compatible symptoms,” he said.

“Anyone with symptoms, particularly a rash, should call their GP or local sexual health clinic by phone or telehealth.”

‘Viruses don’t discriminate’

Nicolas Parkhill also urged the community to be mindful about stigma and challenge prejudice and discrimination because “viruses don’t discriminate”. He urged everyone to stay informed and follow the public health advice.

“Our experience over the past two years of the pandemic demonstrates how effective our response can be,” he said.

“Through our experience with the HIV/AIDS crisis, our communities understand just how devastating and hurtful the impact of prejudice and stigma can be.

“It’s important we remember that viruses do not discriminate, and neither should we.”

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Turner
    26 May 2022

    Just another opportunity for our enemies to demonize the community.

    Just as well Morriscum has been sent to the graveyard that is the place unwanted Liberal politicians go. Otherwise we’d have him piling it on as well.

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