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Don’t expect monkeypox to lead to lockdowns, expert says

Monkeypox is ‘unlikely’ to lead to nationwide lockdowns like those seen at the height of the covid-19 pandemic, a British doctor told Sky News.

“I think with monkeypox it’s very unlikely that we’ll ever get to a situation where we’ll have a lockdown,” Dr Mark Lawton said on Monday. “It is a virus that is transmitted by close contact, mainly skin to skin. It can be through infected clothes or linens. Potentially close contact droplets. So I think it’s unlikely to spread the same way.

“[Monkeypox is] ultimately still very rare, most people will have very mild disease. Part of the reason for the covid lockdown was the fact that it was going to overwhelm the health service. We don’t expect to see this kind of problem with monkeypox.”

Dr Lawton, spokesperson for the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, added that monkeypox should not be labeled as a sexually transmitted disease.

“It is transmitted by close contact of any kind. Now obviously the sexual contact could mean that the contact was closer, it could mean that the contact lasts longer and the sex is very popular. So we see it spreading through this mechanism.

“But it’s definitely not a sexually transmitted infection, and I think one of the issues that we unfortunately still have in this country is the stigma around sexually transmitted infections.

“So it is important not to introduce stigmabecause that then becomes a barrier for people to come forward and get tested, which is what we need to do to try to minimize the spread of that.

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