EU country becomes first to order monkeypox quarantine

After three instances of infection, the Belgian Health Authorities have ordered a period of self-isolation for 21 days

Belgium’s Risk Assessment Group has announced a 21-day quarantine for patients with monkeypox after three people in the country were diagnosed with the virus, which has surfaced in over a dozen countries in the past week. This declaration was made by the health authority on Friday. 

Marc Van Ranst (virologist) revealed that Sunday’s fourth case of monkeypox had been diagnosed. Like the other three, he noted that the person in question had been involved in the Darklands gay fetish event, which took places in Antwerp, in early May.

Everybody who went to the Darklands Festival must be alert for signs and symptoms,” the doctor said, suggesting the scale of the outbreak was becoming “Clearer, more readable” while claiming “This is a rare occurrence with the monkeypox virus.” The disease, which is incurable but typically resolves itself in a few weeks, is usually found in west and central Africa. 

Learn more

The hands of a monkeypox patient displaying the diesase's characteristic rash, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 1997 © AP / US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How to prevent rare monkeypox epidemics

The Gran Canaria pride festival in the Canary Islands, attended by some 80,000 people from all around Europe, has also been tagged as a potential monkeypox “super-spreader” event, linked to cases in Spain, Italy, and Tenerife. Madrid is a major hotspot, and more than 30 patients have been diagnosed there.

While the Belgian government has warned those with suspected infections to self-isolate, it has also told them to go to hospital emergency rooms to speak to medical experts – contradictory recommendations similar to those that some experts believe helped spread Covid-19 during the early days of the pandemic.

Monkeypox is not easily transmitted between people, requiring prolonged close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets or contaminated materials such as bedding, according to the World Health Organization. The symptoms of monkeypox include a fever, headaches, swelling in the back, muscle pain, and muscle soreness. These are then followed by a distinctive skin rash that causes pustules to appear on the hands and face. Within one to two week of the infection, you will notice symptoms.

In the past week monkeypox was detected in more than a dozen countries, including Belgium, France, Germany and Italy. It has also been found in Canada, Israel. Switzerland. Australia. The US grabbed 13 million doses Jynneos smallpox vaccine in an emergency to combat the virus after a single monkeypox patient was confirmed.

LEARN MORE US purchases millions of vaccines against dangerous viruses

As the numbers of monkeypox cases rose to more than 100, Friday’s emergency meeting was called by WHO. Despite media-fueled panic, government officials in countries including the UK and US have insisted the virus presents a low risk to the general public.

However, a tabletop ‘simulation’ event conducted at the 2021 Munich Security Conference described a hypothetical monkeypox outbreak that led to 270 million fatalities globally. 



Related Articles

Back to top button