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Belgium becomes first country in world to introduce monkeypox quarantine – World News

The virus has swept across Europe over the past two weeks, with 20 cases in the UK and nine other countries confirming confirmed outbreaks

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Monkeypox: UK health agency is urging people to watch out for symptoms

Belgium is the first country in the world to introduce mandatory quarantine for people with monkeypox.

The virus has swept across Europe over the past two weeks, with 20 cases in the UK and nine other countries confirming confirmed outbreaks.

Belgian authorities have announced that those infected with the virus, which has many characteristics of smallpox, will have to be isolated for 21 days.

It follows meetings between the country’s risk assessment group and health authorities.

The country has reported four cases of monkeypox so far – at least three are linked to a gay fetish festival called Darklands in Antwerp.

Festival organizers said in a statement: “There is reason to believe that the virus was brought to the festival by visitors from abroad, following recent cases in other countries.”







Health chiefs respond to a spate of monkeypox cases across Europe (file image)
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Monkeypox is spreading through community transmission in the UK, with more cases being detected every day, a senior doctor has warned.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed 20 cases of the disease in the UK, with nine other countries outside of central and west Africa also reporting outbreaks.

The disease, first identified in monkeys, can be transmitted from person to person through close physical contact – including sexual intercourse – and is caused by the monkeypox virus.

dr Susan Hopkins, a senior medical adviser to the UKHSA, said updated figures for the weekend would be released on Monday as she warned of more cases “daily”.







The virus was typically most prominent in Central and East Africa (file image)
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She also warned that doctors are seeing community transmission, with cases being predominantly identified in people who self-identify as gay or bisexual, or in men who have sex with other men.

Speaking to BBC One’s Morning Show, Dr. Hopkins: “We will publish updated figures tomorrow – figures over the weekend.

“We are discovering more cases every day and I want to thank all of the people who are reaching out to sexual health clinics, GPs and the emergency room for testing.”

Asked if there is community transmission in the UK, she said: “We are definitely finding cases that have no identified contact with an individual from West Africa, which is what we have seen before in that country.

“Community transmission is largely concentrated in urban areas and we see it predominantly in people who self-identify as gay or bisexual, or in other men who have sex with men.”







So far this year 20 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the UK
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When asked why it’s found in this demographic, she said: “It’s because of the frequent close contacts they may have.

“We would recommend anyone who regularly switches sex partners or who is in close contact with people they don’t know to speak up if they develop a rash.”

When asked whether people need to be vaccinated against the infection, she said: “There is no direct vaccine against monkeypox, but we use a type of smallpox vaccine – a third-generation smallpox vaccine that is safe for people who are contactees of cases .

“So we don’t use it in the general population.







Outbreaks have occurred in at least 10 countries in recent days
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“We use it in people who we think are at high risk of developing symptoms and we use it early, specifically within four or five days after the case has developed symptoms.

“For contacts, (this) reduces the risk of contracting disease, so that’s where we’re focusing our vaccination efforts.”

It comes as US President Joe Biden said the recent cases of monkeypox identified in Europe and the United States were “something to worry about”.

In his first public comments on the disease, Mr. Biden added: “It is worrying that there would be consequences if it spread.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/belgium-becomes-first-country-world-27034689 Belgium becomes first country in world to introduce monkeypox quarantine - World News

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