Doctors must report cases of monkeypox, RIVM advice says
The monkeypox virus has been classified as an "A-disease" at the advice of the RIVM, which means that doctors are obliged to report infections or suspicions of infections immediately, according to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).
Obligatory reporting helps to detect new cases as early as possible, according to the RIVM. Measures like quarantine can also be taken quickly for people who have been in contact with patients.
People with symptoms are asked to go into isolation at home until a test shows whether they are infected. If so, they should remain in isolation until they are no longer contagious to others, which is when the skin is completely healed.
Health Minister Ernst Kuipers also reported that contacts of infected persons who are at high risk will be offered a one-off smallpox vaccination. The Netherlands already has these vaccines, which also provide protection against monkey pox. The injection works best if it is administered within four days of contact.
In the Netherlands, vaccinations were carried out against smallpox until 1974. It is expected that people who were vaccinated at the time will still be protected by it even after all these years.
Kuipers emphasizes that no "collective measures" are to be expected, as they were for a long time during the coronavirus pandemic. "The way monkeypox is transmitted and the relatively mild symptoms in most people mean that no pressure on care is expected."
The monkeypox virus has so far been diagnosed in two people in the Netherlands, but RIVM expects that more people have already been infected. The virus is now mainly found in men who have sex with other men. "But it's not limited to that," Kuipers said.
Reporting by ANP