Belgium has ordered a compulsory 21-day quarantine for those infected with Monkeypox, becoming the first nation to order isolation over the outbreak of the traditionally Africa-based disease that has sprung up in small numbers of cases in Europe, North America and Australia recent weeks that has been tied to a gay fetish festival in Belgium held May 4-9 in Antwerp. Belgium has reported four cases as of Sunday.
Monkeypox lesions, image via Emmanuel André/Twitter.
Excerpt from La Libre published Friday (via Google translation):
As of this writing, there are reportedly three cases of monkeypox in Flanders. Two clinically determined cases, as well as a high-risk contact with symptoms, according to our colleagues at the HLN.
For people infected with the virus, they will have to isolate themselves for 21 days. Monkeypox having a fairly long incubation period. On the other hand, high-risk contacts are not required to self-isolate. They still need to monitor their condition, looking for particular symptoms.
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As a reminder, these are rashes on the face or other parts of the body, as well as flu-like symptoms. Namely, cough, fever, headache, body aches or swollen lymph nodes.
Several other cases have also been detected in recent days in Europe; in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Sweden. They have even been identified in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
It seems stable that the virus has a profit to spread through sexual relations. “We are observing transmissions among men who have sex with men”, which is “new information that we must study properly to better understand the dynamics” of transmission, alerted the WHO. The Risk Assessment Group therefore considered it useful to launch an awareness campaign aimed at men who have sex with other men, as well as people who have sex with several partners. It is not a question of stigmatizing any community whatsoever, but on the eve of Belgian Pride (formerly Gay Pride), the RAG considers it relevant to convey this message.
People who have had several sexual contacts are particularly advised to be vigilant. If they have a suspicious rash, they should go to an emergency department, informed about the procedure.
The risk for the general population is low, reassures Vandenbroucke
End excerpt. Please read the complete La Libre article at this link.
Belgian medical microbiologist Emmanuel André posted photos of Monkeypox lesions to educate the public on signs of infection via translation), “In recent days, numerous cases of infections linked to a virus (“monkey pox”) have been reported across Europe. If you have such lesions, go see your doctor quickly and avoid close contact so as not to contaminate your loved ones….These lesions can take different forms over time.”
Ces lésions peuvent prendre différentes forms au cours du temps. pic.twitter.com/neNfLlD5W2
— Emmanuel André (@Emmanuel_microb) May 20, 2022
Organizers of the gay fetish Darklands Festival posted a warning about the spread of Monkeypox at the festival at the behest of the Belgian government:
This is an important message to all visitors of Darklands 2022 regarding confirmed cases of the Monkeypox virus.
The health department of the Belgian government has confirmed 3 cases of the Monkeypox virus linked to visitors at Darklands. There’s reason to assume that the virus has been brought in by visitors from abroad to the festival after recent cases in other countries. The Risk Assessment Group of the federal government has asked Darklands to inform it’s guest about these infections and share the following information:
– Monkeypox has an incubation period of 5 to 21 days. Be vigilant during the three weeks after your last close contact.
– If you notice unusual blisters or injuries, please go to the ER unit of a nearby hospital en mention you suspect Monkeypox.
– If the suspicion is confirmed, those persons will need to quarantine for 3 weeks without having sexual contacts.
Please follow up on this request and look for information and regulations given by the government in your home country. Read the official press release by the Belgian authorities below for more information.
Press release by the Belgian authorities
FIRST CASES OF MONKEYPOX FOUND IN BELGIUM
Three cases of Monkeypox have been identified in Belgium, more specifically on Flemish territory. In recent weeks, cases have also been identified in Europe, in particular in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain, mainly in men who have sex with men (MSM), but not exclusively.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that occurs in West Africa and does not spread easily among the population. For transmission, a person must have had close contact with an infected person (including through droplet transmission), or contact with clothing or linens used by an infected person to transmit the infection. Monkeypox can therefore be transmitted through sexual contact. However, the risk to the general population is low.
After an incubation period of 5 to 21 days, infected individuals typically go through a period of mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes and fatigue. Skin rashes may develop, often on the face, but also in the genital area. The rash changes and goes through several stages, from a pimple to a blister, until finally a crust forms. A person is especially contagious during the period when there are skin lesions, but transmission in the days before the symptoms are not excluded. Most people recover within a few weeks. Exceptionally, these symptoms can be more severe. At present, the symptoms reported in Europe are mostly mild in cases, and no deaths have been reported.
The number of cases in Belgium is closely monitored.
The World Health Organization reports 92 confirmed cases across Europe, North America and Australia during the period of May 13 through 21.