December 4, 2022

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Marc van Ranst on monkeypox at the Fetish Festival in Antwerp: “It could have happened at any party” (Antwerp)

Marc van Ranst on monkeypox at the Fetish Festival in Antwerp: “It could have happened at any party” (Antwerp)


Confirmed cases of monkeypox in our country occurred at the Darklands Fits Festival in Antwerp, but could have happened at any festival or party with many close people. That’s the opinion of virologist Mark van Ranst, who is watching the spread closely these days. In the meantime, more suspicious specimens have been added.

Rebecca Van Remortieri

Read also. Monkeypox outbreak linked to the Darklands in Antwerp: Fetish festival attracts 10,000 visitors, but what exactly is it?

The monkeypox virus spreads through all forms of close contact in the same room. This can be through large droplets that a person coughs up and possibly also through small droplets. “There is only old literature on the latter, so we are not entirely sure,” says virologist Marc van Ranst.

According to him, the spread can happen at any festival or indoor event where many people gather together. This close contact can happen in 101 different ways and it’s definitely not just about sexual contact. It’s fine that the festival provides free condoms, but those alone won’t stop monkeypox. Sexual contact is very close contact, so we are taking a step forward in terms of transmission.”

According to the virologist, the organization can now only properly inform the attendees. “And they do it a lot.”

Read also. The organization reported that the monkeypox cases were linked to the Antwerp Festival

suspicious samples still

Meanwhile, more suspicious specimens arrived. We don’t know yet if it’s positive or not, but some of them have pictures too and you can draw conclusions from that. There will certainly be more positive cases, when we can’t predict exactly. You can also see the infection map as it fills up in other countries. Each country is now dealing with new cases at its own pace.”

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Van Ranst also stresses that it is important to display as many images of monkeypox as possible. “Not to frighten people, but to inform them. If they realize these things in themselves or in others, they can intervene. This is key.”

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