Belgium Detects First Two Monkeypox Cases, France Confirms One Case

© AFP 2023 / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDA Belgian first-aid firefman wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) (File)
A Belgian first-aid firefman wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.05.2022
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - Lab testing has confirmed two cases of monkeypox in Belgium, Marc Van Ranst, a professor of virology at the Catholic University of Leuven, said on Friday.
"The second case of monkeypox virus in a man from the Flemish Brabant province was diagnosed in our laboratory yesterday," Van Ranst said on Twitter.
The first case was diagnosed in a resident of the Belgian city of Antwerp. The cases may be related since both infected individuals attended the same event recently.
Belgium's federal authorities will hold a consultation on the epidemiological situation later on Friday. At the same time, the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp assessed the risks of a monkeypox outbreak as low.
In France, where media reported about the first suspected case on Thursday, the health ministry confirmed it was monkeypox on Friday.
"The first case of the monkeypox virus was confirmed on 19 May in the Ile-de-France region," the ministry said.
A 29-year-old man with no recent foreign travel history tested positive for monkeypox and self-isolated at home in Paris, without any serious complications, the ministry said.
The World Health Organization said earlier in the day that it will convene an emergency meeting of experts to discuss the outbreak of monkeypox as more and more member countries report cases.
The UK Health Security Agency was the first health authority in Europe to publicly report a case of monkeypox on 7 May, in a patient who recently travelled from Nigeria. Since then, cases of monkeypox have also been confirmed in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United States.
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