Monkeypox over its peak, ‘but vigilance is still advised’

Monkeypox over its peak, ‘but vigilance is still advised’
Monkeypox over its peak, ‘but vigilance is still advised’

According to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, this is the lowest number of new infections since the virus appeared in the Netherlands. In total, ‘monkeypox’ has now been diagnosed in 1215 people in the Netherlands. It is already the ninth week in a row that the number of new cases has fallen.

“We do not know definitively why it is declining,” Chantal Bleeker-Rovers, professor of Infectious Disease Outbreaks at Radboud UMC, told RTL Nieuws. “We think that all efforts such as informing the risk group, low-threshold testing, source and contact research and isolation have contributed to this. The increasing immunity within the risk group also seems to play a role. This is partly due to vaccinations and partly because people have had illness.”

‘Preferably extinguish completely’

In addition, according to the professor, there are indications that the risk group has taken measures itself, by avoiding risky behaviour. It bases this, among other things, on completed questionnaires.

Bleeker-Rovers applauds the decrease, but at the same time calls it ‘worrying’ that the virus ‘continues to simmer on a low heat’. “It is not disappearing yet. As long as it continues to seep through, you continue to run the risk that it will have serious consequences in people with lowered immunity. We would prefer it to go out completely.”

In this Tiktok video you can see what the virus looks like:

“Whether it will die out completely, I don’t know,” Bleeker-Rovers continues. “You have to see zero new cases for a few weeks before you can say it’s over. The number of infections is decreasing worldwide, but there are also countries where it is increasing. Not all countries have the same number of vaccines at their disposal.”

Sick and death

The Infectious Diseases expert says much has been done to stop the global outbreak. “Information, isolation, vaccination. It has not gone down by itself. Many people, especially the risk group themselves, have taken action.”

She calls the broad approach ‘quite rightly’. “I think that is very sensible. In Africa we see that pregnant women, young children and people with a reduced immune system can become seriously ill, and even die. We have to prevent that.”

Now it is important to remain vigilant and continue to fight the disease, she believes. “I think it is important that we continue to test accessible, otherwise we can get a new revival. But that we are in a much better position than a few weeks ago, that is very clear.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also noted a worldwide decrease in the number of infections since the end of August. At the beginning of last month, the Netherlands feared a revival because of the Pride week in Amsterdam, but according to the RIVM, there was no significant increase in the number of positive tests afterwards.

Vaccinations

In the Netherlands, approximately 32,000 people have been invited for a vaccination against monkeypox. They get two shots. So far 19,034 shots have been taken. That is 2052 more than last week. RIVM does not yet know how many people have accepted the vaccination invitation.

More than 24,000 positive tests have now been registered across Europe. Spain leads the list with more than 7,000 confirmed infections. This is followed by France (almost 3900), Germany (almost 3600), Great Britain (more than 3500) and the Netherlands. Five people in Europe have died from the infection.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Monkeypox peak vigilance advised

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