Europe: The cases of the monkeypox virus cases are increasing in Belgium, but there is plenty of misinformation about the infection and how it is spread it is still circulating online.
Since the start of the outbreak, about 546 confirmed cases of monkeypox had been registered in Belgium, as per the latest figures shared by the Sciensano National Health Institute.
Along with this, monkeypox is an infection that is transmitted from animals to humans. However, the name is slightly misleading. At the same time, monkeypox was first identified in monkeys.
The infected individuals first get a fever, chills, muscle aches and fatigue. After one to three days, spots start appearing, which turn into blisters. The fluid in these blisters is infectious.
The best-known way that the virus spreads is through skin-to-skin contact, as generously as it must come into contact with an injury; virologist Johan Neyts (KU Leuven) shared the information. Meanwhile, it can also enter through mucous membranes, such as the genitals and the mouth.
In addition, monkeypox is not related to chicken pox. “Those viruses belong to two completely different families. That is like comparing a head of lettuce to a chestnut tree,” says Neyts.
The virus can not spread through the skin. The most imperative thing to keep in mind is that monkeypox does not spread easily between people without close contact.
Moreover, the fluid from the blisters is highly contagious, and if it ends up on materials, it can remain infectious for at least five days, says Neyts. The virus lingers longer on bedding, towels and clothing than on materials such as plastic, metal and glass.
However, textile wound fluid is easy to remove in the washing machine (at the highest possible temperature).
Furthermore, in recent weeks, concerns were raised about the transmission of the virus through second-hand store clothes following an advisory letter that the World Health Organisation- WHO has since dismissed as “fake.”