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Belgium Introduces Mandatory Quarantine Period For All Monkeypox Cases

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Belgium Introduces Mandatory Quarantine Period For All Monkeypox Cases

Belgium is the first country to introduce a mandatory three-week quarantine for those infected with Monkeypox.

While the virus is rare and usually only found in those who have recently travelled to Africa, in recent weeks it has been detected in other regions including the UK and Belgium.

Monkeypox under a microscope. Credit: Alamy
Monkeypox under a microscope. Credit: Alamy
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The news comes as Belgium detected three cases of Monkeypox, which were said to have been linked to the Darklands fetish festival.

With organisers of the event issuing a statement that read: "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 its guests 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."

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“If you notice unusual blisters or injuries, please go to the ER unit of a nearby hospital [and] mention you suspect Monkeypox.

“If the suspicion is confirmed, those persons will need to quarantine for 3 weeks without having sexual contact.”

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The statement was published with a full statement from Belgium authorities, who stated that the wider population's risk of contracting the disease is 'low'.

However, transmission can occur through close contact with an infected person.

As the World Health Organisation (WHO) have said, the virus is typically transmitted by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, or contaminated materials (bedding, towels) from the infected person.

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The health authority continued to say that: "Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications."

"The clinical presentation of monkeypox resembles that of smallpox, a related orthopoxvirus infection which was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980. Monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe illness."

While the symptom list is pretty unsettling, WHO noted that: "An antiviral agent developed for the treatment of smallpox has also been licensed for the treatment of monkeypox."

Anyone with symptoms of the virus is urged to seek medical advice.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, World News, Health

Shola Lee
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