NC health officials, Equality NC to discuss monkeypox in virtual town hall

RALEIGH, NC (WBTV/AP) – Equality NC is partnering with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to host a virtual town hall to discuss the monkeypox outbreak.

That virtual town hall will start at 6:30 pm on Thursday, July 28. Participants said they will share information on how to get checked for monkeypox, access testing and find treatment.

Those interested in participating can access the town hall here or via One Tap Mobile.

Anyone can get monkeypox, but the majority of cases identified globally and in NC in the current outbreak have been in men who have sex with men, state health officials said.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said 98% of the monkeypox cases detected since the outbreaks emerged in May have been among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. He called for those at risk to take steps to protect themselves, according to the Associated Press.

Related: WHO chief advises reducing sex partners to avoid monkeypox

“That means making safe choices for yourself and others, for men who have sex with men,” Tedros said. “This includes, for the moment, reducing your number of sexual partners.”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not suggested that men who have sex with men reduce their sexual partners, only that they avoid skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that could be monkeypox, the AP reported.

To date, more than 19,000 cases have been reported in more than 75 countries; deaths have only been reported in Africa.

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