Belgium Imposes Quarantine for Four Detected Cases of Monkeypox

After discovering four positive cases of monkeypox, Belgian health authorities have placed those with confirmed cases of the virus into a 21-day quarantine.

As of Sunday, Belgian authorities announced four confirmed cases of the virus and have called on anyone with symptoms to immediately seek medical treatment at an emergency room and consult health professionals.

Belgium has also ordered anyone who has been infected with the virus to isolate themselves for 21 days. Those who have been in contact with anyone with a confirmed case should watch for symptoms but do not need to isolate themselves, broadcaster SVT reports.

Belgium is the latest of several European countries to report confirmed cases of the monkeypox virus in recent days, such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Many of the confirmed monkeypox cases have been linked to homosexual men, with the UK investigating gay bars frequented by six of the nine people who tested positive for the virus and World Health Organisation experts linking what the Associated Press called ‘risky sexual behaviour’ at two raves held in Belgium and Spain to the spread of the virus.

Dr David Heymann, who formerly headed WHO´s emergencies department commented on the virus outbreak saying, “We know monkeypox can spread when there is close contact with the lesions of someone who is infected, and it looks like sexual contact has now amplified that transmission.”

Sweden, which reported its first case last Thursday, claimed that the person who contracted it had mild symptoms and was not seriously ill.

“The person in Sweden who has been confirmed to be infected with the virus is not seriously ill but has received care. We do not yet know where the person has become infected. An investigation is ongoing right now,” infectious disease doctor and investigator Klara Sondén stated.

“Those who have contracted the disease in Europe have had a mild illness, there has been fever, swollen lymph nodes and skin rashes,” Sondén said.

On Monday, Minister for Social Affairs Lena Hallengren addressed concerns of those comparing the outbreak of the monkeypox to the Wuhan coronavirus, stating that the two outbreaks were not comparable.

“There is no need to link monkeypox with covid-19 and all that it raises in people in terms of concern about the disease and community measures,” Hallengren said and added, “There will be no restrictions on how we live because of monkeypox. There are no such plans.”