In order to be able to take measures to protect against infection, Sweden classifies monkeypox as a dangerous disease. In Belgium, the virus cases are apparently related to a fetish festival. In Spain, a sauna has to close for the time being after a suspected outbreak.
After the first confirmed case of monkeypox infection in Sweden, the country's government has classified the rare viral disease as dangerous for the general public. "The classification makes it possible to take measures to prevent infection in order to prevent further spread," explained Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren. "It is also important that the information reaches risk groups and that the health services are prepared to treat and follow up suspected cases." In Sweden, the first case of monkeypox was registered in the Stockholm area on Thursday.
In Belgium, the monkeypox cases are apparently linked to a large fetish festival in Antwerp. Organizers of the Darklands Festival, held in early May, said Belgian authorities linked the contagion to the festival. Belgium has so far officially confirmed three cases of monkeypox. In Spain, a gay sauna was forced to close temporarily over a suspected link to a monkeypox outbreak.
The Belgian festival organizers said on their website that there was "a reasonable assumption" that the virus was probably transmitted by visitors from abroad. The festival management was asked by the Belgian government to inform the festival guests. According to the organizers, the Darklands Festival is aimed at the "various groups of the gay fetish community". According to the organizers, clubs and organizations are behind the festival and more than 150 volunteers work there. Commercial events take place during the day and parties in the evening.
In Spain's capital Madrid, health authorities ordered the temporary closure of a gay sauna over a suspected link to a monkeypox outbreak. The operator announced on Twitter that the "El Paraíso" sauna club will remain closed for the next few days as a "precautionary measure". The authorities have registered 21 confirmed cases and 19 suspected cases, said Enrique Ruiz Escudero, a representative of the health authorities of the Madrid region. Most of those who tested positive would have a connection to the sauna.
Monkeypox, which is particularly widespread in Central and West Africa, has been detected in several European and North American countries since the beginning of May. After the first cases in Great Britain, there were also reports from the USA and several European countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it has been mainly gay or bisexual men who have been infected.
This Friday, an infection with monkeypox was also detected in Germany for the first time. According to the Bavarian Ministry of Health, it was a 26-year-old Brazilian who entered Germany from Portugal via Spain and has been in Munich for about a week. According to Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, he assumes that the outbreak can be contained.