Europe: The maximum number of confirmed monkeypox infections in Belgium has now increased to 17, according to the Sciensano public health institute.
On Friday, since the start of May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been recorded in various nations within the European Union and beyond. There are about 17 confirmed cases in Belgium, 11 in Flanders, five in Brussels, and one in Wallonia.
Till now, no one has been admitted to the health care centre. All of the cases were found in men of the age between 28 and 46 years old. About ten of them can be linked to the Darklands festival in Antwerp in early May or a trip to Portugal or Spain.
Moreover, the most recent infections are still under investigation.
Virologist Steven Van Gucht mentioned in the statement, “We expect additional cases of monkeypox in the coming weeks. It remains essential to be alert for the appearance of symptoms. The fight against the virus consists of isolating infected people and appropriate follow-up of those who have had contact with an infected person.”
Along with this, the people that has been infected should isolate themselves till the rash disappears.
Unlike with the COVID-19 high-risk contacts do not be isolated, but they should be extra careful with people with reduced immunity, young ones and pregnant women, as well as should be extra vigilant for the symptoms.
However, so far, the infections have mainly been found in men who have sexual contact with men, but Van Gucht stressed that this is not exclusively the case, as the virus spreads through close contact and does not discriminate.
He highlighted, “Anyone can get infected with the monkeypox virus. The fact that infections are mainly reported by gay and bisexual men may even have something to do with the fact that they will detect the symptoms more quickly because there is a prejudice in society.”