Belgium becomes first nation to introduce compulsory monkeypox quarantine 1 month ago

Belgium becomes first nation to introduce compulsory monkeypox quarantine

There are 120 confirmed monkeypox cases worldwide.

Belgium has become the first country to introduce a compulsory monkeypox quarantine, with 14 countries now recording outbreaks of the viral disease.

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Those who contract the virus will now have to self-isolate for 21 days, Belgian authorities confirmed.

The first infection in the country was recorded on Friday, with all of the infections linked to a festival in the city of Antwerp.

"This is an important message to all visitors of Darklands 2022 regarding confirmed cases of the Monkeypox virus," festival organisers wrote on Facebook.

"The health department of the Belgian government has confirmed 3 cases of the Monkeypox virus linked to visitors at Darklands.

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"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 it's guest about these infections."

Those with symptoms will need to isolate until their sores subside.

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So far, a total of 120 confirmed or suspected cases have been reported globally.

Monkeypox is a virus that stems from west and central Africa.

The HSE has established a team to actively monitor the international situation around the virus.

There are no known monkeypox cases in Ireland at present.

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On Thursday, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) said the vast majority of cases of the virus it has been informed about internationally do not have a travel link to a country where monkeypox is endemic.

"Most of the recent cases that have been reported in the UK self-identify as gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (gbMSM)," an HPSC statement reads.

"A multidisciplinary Incident Management Team has been established by the HSE to actively monitor this evolving international situation and prepare services in Ireland for the possibility of monkeypox cases arising in Ireland.

"HPSC will continue to closely monitor this situation and provide relevant updates to the public as appropriate."

Symptoms include fever, a headache, chills, exhaustion, aches and swollen lymph nodes. Most notably, a rash spreads from the face across the body for around five days.

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Recovery usually takes a few weeks after receiving specialist treatment, and the mortality rate is between 1 and 10 per cent, with young people affected the most.

Further information on monkeypox infection can be found on the HPSC's website here.