RIVM concerned about monkeypox spreading at Pride events
Public health institute RIVM is concerned that the upcoming Pride festivals in Amsterdam and other cities in the Netherlands and abroad will lead to a “more intensive spread” of the monkeypox virus.
The RIVM knows about over 200 cases of monkeypox in the Netherlands, it said in advice to the government. It expects that number to increase. According to the health institute expert council, most of the patients are men who have sex with other men. It is therefore concerned about the spread of the virus at the upcoming Pride festivals.
“The exact transmission routes are not completely clear. Intense physical contact (including sexual contact) appears to be the most likely transmission route in this outbreak,” the RIVM said. “Contacts exposed through this transmission route run a high risk of infection and becoming ill themselves.”
The RIVM, therefore, advised warning these “high-risk contacts” about the virus and monitoring them for infection.
The fact that the virus seems to be spreading mainly through “intense physical contact” also means that people run less risk of contracting the virus through passing contact with someone who has it. At the advice of the expert council, Health Minister Ernst Kuipers, therefore, scrapped the direction that people should quarantine for three weeks after passing contact with a monkeypox patient unless they develop symptoms.
Pride Amsterdam is happening from July 30 to August 7. Other Pride-related festivals and parties in the Netherlands include Roze Woensdag in Nijmegen on July 20, Roze Maandag in Tilburg on July 25, and Pride Amersfoort on July 28.