Monkeypox Concerns Cancel LGBTQ+ Concert, But What’s the Risk?


It was Covid at first. It is now monkeypox. The possibility of monkeypox forced the cancellation of a free concert at the forthcoming LGBTQ event Southern Decadence in New Orleans.
The larger six-day event, which traditionally runs from September 1 through 5, will go on as scheduled, as it has since 1973, with the exception of the hurricane seasons and the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. About 250,000 people generally attend the well-known event. However, the concert’s organizers decided that the danger wasn’t worth it given the increase in monkeypox cases, particularly among homosexual, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary, and men who have sex with men.
Close skin-to-skin contact is how monkeypox spreads. According to the US Centers for Illness Control and Prevention, the majority of cases in this particular epidemic in the US have occurred through sexual contact, skin to skin, despite the fact that it is not a sexually transmitted disease.
Although the performance occurs outside, it attracts sizable crowds thanks to its well-known singers, including Deborah Cox, Jennifer Holliday, and the Weather Girls.

“They’re shoulder to shoulder dancing, as they should [to] celebrate a lifestyle through music and the concert, that is wonderful—but danger for Monkeypox,” organizer Chuck Robinson told CNN of the situation. “They’re hot, sweaty, people gathered in a street for blocks 21 deep, people have their shirts off.
The festival’s organizers claimed they were collaborating closely with the Louisiana Department of Health. The New Orleans Health Department has set up temporary vaccination clinics close to bars and other public gathering places.
As of Thursday, there were 127 instances of monkeypox in Louisiana.
The vast majority of LGBTQ events this summer have continued as usual, despite the rising number of incidents.
According to the organization’s website, the risk of monkeypox forced the cancellation of Algeria Sunrise Summer Edition, a circuit party, in New York in July.
Monkeypox can affect anyone, but the most recent outbreak in the US has primarily affected homosexual, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary, and males who have sex with other men. It is contagious through close contact and may spread through soiled bedding and clothing.
Dr. David Hamer, interim director of the US Center for Emerging Infectious Disease Policy & Research at Boston University, advised anyone considering attending major events to consider how this outbreak has been spreading.

According to what Hamer is observing, “instead of in a public situation, 95 to 98% of the instances are through close sexual contact, skin to skin,”
I believe there is a far lesser risk (during a concert),” Hamer added.
Attending such an event does not, however, carry “no danger.” Hamer cites a study from Stanford University researchers that focuses on a man from the United Kingdom who reported noticing his first monkeypox lesion two weeks after going to a “large, crowded outdoor event where he had close contact with others, including close dancing,” according to the researchers. According to the researchers, his main risk factor was “close, nonsexual contact with multiple unknown strangers at a packed outdoor event.” At the occasion, he was dressed.
The organizers will need to consider this in their preparations, according to Hamer, if this is to be believed.
Hamer believes that event planners might want to inform attendees in advance and advise anyone who has had any unusual lesions or contact with someone who has had monkeypox to stay home or, at the very least, be tested and evaluated first to make sure they are not contagious and going to infect their friends.

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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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