Belgium became the first country to make 21-day quarantine mandatory for monkeypox patients after learning of four cases of the disease last week.
The decision was made by Belgian health authorities on Friday, the Saudi Gazette reported, citing Belgian media.
Monkeypox is a disease of the same family as smallpox and the symptoms include a distinct rash, fever, muscle aches and headaches. Monkeypox is less deadly than smallpox, with a mortality rate of less than 4 percent, but experts are concerned about the unusual spread of the disease outside of Africa, where it usually spreads.
The Belgian Institute of Tropical Medicine says the country has a lower risk of a major outbreak, according to the Saudi Gazette, citing the Belgian daily Le Soar.
Taking to Twitter, microbiologist Emanuel Andre, who is in charge of COVID-19’s national reference lab in Belgium on Saturday, said a fourth case had been confirmed in the country.
“The patient is being treated in Wallonia and it is linked to the Antwerp event where two more people became infected,” he tweeted, referring to a festival in the port city in May.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said on Saturday that there were a total of 92 confirmed cases in 12 different countries, with 28 suspected cases under investigation. Monkeypox cases have been confirmed in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, the United States, Canada and Australia, according to the Saudi Gazette.
According to the UK Health Security Agency, a case of monkeypox was confirmed in England on May 7, in a patient who recently traveled from Nigeria.
On May 18, the U.S. Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed a single case of the monkeypox virus infection in an adult male with a recent trip to Canada.
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