Luxembourg records eight monkeypox cases
Eight people have been infected with the monkeypox virus in Luxembourg, the Health Ministry said on Saturday, after the number of cases in Europe tripled at the start of the month.
Europe accounts for around 90% of all reported cases since mid-May, the World Health Organization said earlier this month, just two weeks after the first case was detected in Luxembourg.
Seven more people in the Grand Duchy have caught the virus since then, though none of the patients are in hospital, the ministry said in a press release.
More than 8,200 people in Europe have now caught the virus, the ministry said, and the continent is considered as high risk by the World Health Organization.
Monkeypox is a viral infection and symptoms – such as a fever - start to show a week or two after contracting the virus. Patients then have a rash which can last for weeks. Current infections seem less deadly than in previous outbreaks and children are at higher risk than adults, experts have said.
More than 40% of people who have caught the monkeypox virus in Europe are aged between 31 and 40 and almost all are men, the ministry said. Most of them are men who have sex with men, the WHO website states.
Almost all patients had a rash and two-thirds also suffered from a fever, fatigue, muscular pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, shivering or a sore throat, the ministry said. Three people in Europe were admitted to intensive care but none have died of the virus.
"This outbreak represents the first time that cases of monkeypox have been reported in many countries at the same time, including in countries where the virus has not previously been detected," the World Health Organization said in guidance published on its website last month.
People should wash their hands regularly with soap, avoid sharing bedding or towels with infected people or anyone who has been in contact with an infected person and have protected sex, the ministry warned.
It previously urged anyone with symptoms to get in touch with the national infectious diseases service and to avoid close contact with others. There is no need for great concern yet about monkeypox, Claude Muller, a virology expert at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, said in an interview last month.