Latest figures from the HSE reveal a phenomenal 100% of monkeypox cases (where sexual orientation is given) arising from homosexual men.
Documented in the latest epidemiology report from the HSE affiliated Health Service Protection Centre, a total of 97 monkeypox cases were recorded in the state as of this week, of which 75 originate in gay men and the remaining 22 refusing to state sexual identity.
With no women or children counted among the infected, the majority of cases were to be found in the greater Dublin area (32%) with none in Galway, Roscommon and Mayo.
Notified through the Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting system, the euphemism used in any reportage around the overlap between gay men and monkeypox by the HSE is ‘gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men (gbMSM)’.
Declared a global outbreak by the WHO in July, the state saw its first monkeypox case in May of this year with an ongoing awareness campaign being targeted at members of the LGBT community.
A viral disease likely of animal origin from the Congo, according to HSE advice monkeypox can be spread through sexual and physical contact with symptoms appearing between 5 and 21 days including an itchy rash and a high temperature.
An emerging concern around the disease however is its impact on pregnant women with an increased chance of stillbirth when infected according to recent studies.
Organising a targeted vaccination campaign for gay and bisexual men, the state availed of its share of the 110,000 vaccines procurred by the EU under recommendations from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.
Hoping to learn from the disaster around covid vaccine procurement the EU has moved at warp speed to lock down vaccine supply under the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA).
With no formal treatment owing to the novelty of the disease the American CDC recommends antiviral medication in the form of Tecovirimat already in use against smallpox.
Globally 25,000 confirmed cases have been recorded including 9 registered deaths mainly occurring in the Central African Republic (2), Nigeria (3) and Spain (2).
Irish LGBT advocacy groups have been perfunctory in their criticisms of vaccine rollout being too lethargic with the expected voices decrying those linking homosexual behaviour to the virus.
With Department of Health officials assuring the public that the state response is ahead of the curve one expects with viral embarrassment to rumble on for the next few months paralleling the willingness of the state to open the public purse for PrEP treatment or the dominance of the nation’s LGBT NGO nexus.