Dutch monkeypox total climbs to 656, including three female patients
The number of people in the Netherlands diagnosed with the monkeypox virus rose to 656. Since the last update on Thursday, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) registered 107 positive tests. The institute confirmed 153 infections since last week Monday, which corresponds with the growth rate in the weeks before.
The number of women who tested positive increased from one to three. Previously, a “child of primary school age” got the virus. Most of the monkeypox cases in the Netherlands concern men who have sex with men (MSM).
Those who contract monkeypox can suffer from fever, headaches, muscle aches, and general malaise. After a few days, a rash with blisters appears on the skin. People usually don’t get very sick from an infection. One patient in the Netherlands was hospitalized to be treated for skin complaints associated with the infection. He has recovered and is back home. Monkeypox is not a venereal disease. It mainly spreads through skin-to-skin contact. Anyone can contract the virus.
The monkeypox virus is currently relatively common among men who have sex with men. Experts expect new infections around the upcoming pride events, like Pride Amsterdam. “With several MSM events (such as prides) planned in the coming months, there is a chance of more intensive distribution than is already the case, with an international component as well,” the Expert Council advised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the end of June. That council includes the Dutch College of General Practitioners, the Association for Infectious Diseases, STI center Soa Aids Nederland, and the Working Group on Sexual Health and STIs. The consultation is convened by the RIVM”s Center for Infectious Disease Control, led by Jaap van Dissel.
Pride Amsterdam, the most famous pride event in the Netherlands, is happening from July 30 to August 7. A spokesperson for the event said after the advice of the Expert Council: “You must be careful not to stigmatize by addressing a very general group about this. The RIVM talks about men who have sex with men, but the Pride community is much wider than that.” He believes that the Pride event is also far from a spreading risk. “You don’t go to Pride for changing contacts, but to express yourself for equal rights and to be who you want.”
Reporting by ANP