It’s best not to have sex if you suspect monkeypox, but if you must, here’s how to do it safely

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued guidelines for sex among people who suspect they might have the disease.

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A handout photo taken in the year 2004 shows an ultrathin section electron-microscopic capture of the monkeypox virus.

An electron-microscopic capture of the monkeypox virus.

AFP Photo

If you suspect you have monkeypox and you’re determined to have sex, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some advice.

The Puritans would have approved.

“Consider having sex with your clothes on or covering areas where rash or sores are present,” is one suggestion.

“Avoid kissing,” is another.

Needless to say, the CDC would like you to “limit your number of partners to avoid opportunities for monkeypox to spread.”

If the advice looks familiar, that’s because much of it is what health experts have been recommending to lower the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus not typically seen in the United States. Symptoms include “a rash, which may look like pimples or blisters, often with an earlier flu-like illness. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact ...,” according to the CDC.

As of Friday, Chicago had a total of 15 monkeypox cases, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Some of those cases involve individuals who recently traveled to Europe, and one Chicago resident reported attending the International Mr. Leather conference in Chicago from May 26 to 30, the CDPH said.

Residents from another state who were diagnosed with monkeypox also reported attending the conference, CDPH said.

“While the risk in Chicago remains low, CDPH wants the public to be able to make informed choices about gathering in spaces or participating in events where monkeypox could be spread through close or intimate contact,” CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady has said.

The first two probable cases of monkeypox in Illinois were reported in early June.

Globally, more than 30 countries have reported 1,880 infections in countries that don’t typically report monkeypox, with 85% of cases in Europe. No deaths have been reported.

If you suspect you or your partner has monkeypox, it’s best to avoid sex. But if you must, the safest way is to “masturbate together at a distance of at least six feet, without touching each other and without touching any rash or sores,” the CDC recommends.

This suggestion also appears in various health department guidelines for having sex during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And remember to wash your hands when you’re done, the experts say.

Contributing: AP

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