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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Three cases have been recorded in Belgium, and 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, the MailOnline reports

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

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Meanwhile doctors are warning that the UK faces a "significant" rise in infections in the coming days and weeks.

So far, a total of 120 confirmed or suspected cases have been reported globally, with 20 of these in the UK.

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Dr Claire Dewsnap, president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, told Sky News that the government's response to the outbreak would be "critical."

She said: "Our response is really critical here. There is going to be more diagnoses over the next week.

"How many is hard to say. What worries me the most is there are infections across Europe, so this has already spread.

"It's already circulating in the general population. Getting on top of all those people's contacts is a massive job.

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"It could be really significant numbers over the next two or three weeks."

Dr Susan Hopkins, a chief medical adviser for UKHSA, said updated case figures for the weekend would be released on Monday.

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

While the virus has not previously been referred to as a sexually transmitted infection, it can reportedly pass through direct sexual contact alongside close contact with an infected person.

With most of the confirmed UK cases being identified among gay and bisexual men, the UK Health Security Agency has asked those about to engage in sexual contact to be extra wary of any unusual rashes or lesions on their partner.

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The disease can be passed via contact on clothing or linens, as seen in 2018 when an NHS nurse caught the virus. Direct contact with scabs can also spread the virus, as can inhaling droplets when a person with rash coughs or sneezes.

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.

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.

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