Three confirmed events at the Belgian monkeypox have been linked to a large-scale fetish festival in the port city of Antwerp, organizers said Friday.
Several European countries have reported cases in recent days, and the World Health Organization is investigating whether some of the outbreaks have spread to the gay community.
In Belgium, the Darklands Festival warned patrons attending a four-day party starting May 5 that Belgian authorities had linked three events to the event.
So far, Belgium has only publicly confirmed three cases.
The festival said on its website that “there is reason to speculate that the virus has been brought to the festival by visitors from abroad following recent events in other countries.”
“The federal government’s risk assessment group has asked Darklands to inform its guests about the infection.”
Darklands is a ticketed event that describes itself as an association of clubs and organizations that employ 150 volunteers and host evening parties as well as daytime commercial events.
“Different tribes of the gay fetish community (leather, rubber, army, skinhead, puppy …) come together to create a unique vision of the fetish fraternity,” the site says.
Monkeypox is not usually fatal but often manifests itself as fever, muscle aches, lymph node swelling, chills, fatigue, and rashes like chickenpox on hands and face.
The virus can be transmitted through contact with infected skin lesions or droplets of body fluids.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)