Much unknown about first Dutch monkeypox cases, experts say
The first case of monkeypox was officially found in the Netherlands on Friday, sparking a discussion among public health experts about how it is contracted and what to do next.
Much is still unknown about the monkeypox virus and how it is spreading. “It is a new phenomenon. We don’t know how fast it is spreading…[but] it seems to go quite easily,” said virologist Marion Koopmans, of Erasmus MC, on OP1.
There is also no clear relationship between the people who have contracted the virus so far, Koopmans said on the show. However, experts agree the virus has probably spread further than the cases that are currently known. After the weekend, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) will update people about any new infections, according to the NOS.
The RIVM also wants to establish mandatory reporting for doctors and GGD employees who identify patients with monkeypox, it advised Minister Ernst Kuipers (Public Health). This could lead to patients with the virus being placed in isolation, contact tracing and quarantining of close contacts.
"We must take all measures to suppress the virus now in the initial stage,” said RIVM Director Jaap van Dissel, according to the NOS.
It is still unknown how the virus spread so quickly outside Africa, where it is endemic, Koopmans told BNR. “It is not entirely clear what the explanation is for it,” she said. “For example, whether there has been an international event where many people have been, who were able to take the infection from there without noticing.”