Belgium has become the first country to make a 21-day quarantine mandatory for monkeypox patients after four cases of the disease were reported last week.
Belgian health authorities made the decision on Friday, reports Saudi Gazette citing Belgian media.
Monkeypox is a disease in the same family as smallpox and symptoms include a distinct bumpy rash, fever, muscle pain and headache. Monkeypox is less deadly than smallpox, with a fatality rate of less than 4%, but experts are concerned about the disease’s unusual spread beyond Africa where it usually circulates.
The Belgian Institute of Tropical Medicine said the risk of a larger outbreak in the country is low, Saudi Gazette quoted Belgian daily Le Soir as saying.
Taking to Twitter, microbiologist Emmanuel André, head of Belgium’s national reference laboratory for COVID-19, said on Saturday that a fourth case had been confirmed in the country.
“This patient is being treated in Wallonia and is linked to the Antwerp event during which two other people were infected,” he tweeted in reference to a festival held in the port city in May.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the World Health Organization reported that there were a total of 92 confirmed cases in 12 different countries, with 28 suspected cases under investigation. Cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the UK, Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, USA, Canada and Australia, as reported by the Saudi Gazette.
On May 7, a case of monkeypox was confirmed in England, in a patient who recently traveled from Nigeria, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
On May 18, the US Department of Public Health in Massachusetts confirmed a single case of monkeypox virus infection in an adult male who had recently traveled to Canada.
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