The monkeypox virus has so far been diagnosed in six people in the Netherlands, the RIVM announced on Monday. On Saturday, the institute already confirmed two monkeypox cases.
So far, all people who have been infected with the monkeypox virus have been men who have sex with men. Some of the men have been to the Darklands Festival in Belgium, which was previously identified as a possible source of virus. Darklands is a big fetish festival and took place in Antwerp from 4 to 9 May.
RIVM emphasizes that the monkeypox virus does not only spread through sexual contact and that the virus is not only related to the gay community. The institute continues to analyze new possible cases together with Erasmus MC. The number of cases could therefore rise.
The GGD asks everyone who has been in contact with an infected person to quarantine for three weeks. Germany, where four infections have been identified so far, is also considering such a measure. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Monday that the government might come up with recommendations as early as Tuesday. Lauterbach mentioned isolating contact persons and vaccinating risk groups as a possibility.
The European health service ECDC reported Monday that a total of 85 monkeypox cases have been identified in the European Union.
Most people heal on their own
People who contract the monkeypox virus may initially experience fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. After a few days, they also develop blisters on the skin. Until the scabs have fallen off, someone with monkeypox is contagious to others, the RIVM reports. That can take two to four weeks.
The vast majority of people heal on their own. The virus can be dangerous for people who already have a weakened immune system, for children, and for pregnant women.