A MAN caught monkeypox after dancing in a crowd at an outdoor event in the UK.
He claims to have had no sexual contact with anyone, which is how the virus is typically being spread.
Doctors reported that the unidentified man in his 20s “attended a large, crowded outdoor event”.
He “had close contact with others, including close dancing, for a few hours”, according to the report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While other people at the event were in sleeveless tops and shorts, he was wearing trousers and a short-sleeved T-shirt, leaving only his arms exposed.
Describing his interactions with those around him, the researchers said the man had shared an e-cigarette with a woman.
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He had not noticed that anyone around him had a rash or that they were unwell.
The event was not attended specifically or mostly by people who identify as gay or bisexual – the most at-risk group in the current outbreak.
Nor was it in an enclosed or indoor space, such as a rave.
The patient's "primary risk factor was close, nonsexual contact with numerous unknown persons at a crowded outdoor event," the researchers wrote.
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The warned the case "highlights the potential for spread at such gatherings, which may have implications for epidemic control”.
The man flew back from the UK – where he attended various similar but undescribed events – to the US, where he is from.
Two weeks after his trip, he noticed his first monkeypox lesion which developed into a rash over the next week.
On the seventh day he went to an emergency department in Stanford, California, where he tested positive for monkeypox.
Doctors suggested his case was unusual for a number of reasons.
He had no flu-like symptoms that are typical for monkeypox, despite having viral shedding from his nose and mouth.
There were no visible lesions in his genitals or on the anus – like a significant proportion of cases – despite the anal swab being positive.
And the man, who identifies as bisexual, claimed not to have had sex in the UK or in the three months prior to his visit.
Doctors at Stanford said it may be possible that monkeypox may be spread through surfaces in public places or hotel bedding and sheets.
Until now, health experts have been warning of things like sex parties as key spreading events.
Monkeypox has been in Africa for decades and typically spread from contact with animals.
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But in the UK, US, Europe and elsewhere, the main route of transmission has been sexual activity.
Health chiefs have warned men who have sex with men to be extra vigilant to the symptoms of monkeypox, especially if they plan to have sex.
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