THE HAGUE, May 24 — The number of monkeypox cases in humans rose to six in the Netherlands, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) announced on Monday.

The first human case of monkeypox in the Netherlands was confirmed last Friday. The RIVM and the Erasmus University Medical Centre are analysing new samples to ensure rapid detection of any new cases and to reduce the chances of further spread, reported Xinhua.

“Some of the people infected attended the Darkland festival in Belgium,” the RIVM said. “All cases involve men who have sex with men, though this does not mean that the virus can, or can only, be spread through sexual contact or that the virus cannot spread beyond this group of people.”

The RIVM asks high-risk contacts, such as sexual contacts or housemates, with whom an infected person has had skin-to-skin contact, to self-isolate. Vaccination will only be offered at the Municipal Health Service (GGD) to people with a high risk of infection.

Meanwhile, Morocco announced on Monday that it has identified three suspected cases of the viral disease.

The three suspected monkeypox cases, currently under health care, are in good health and have gone through medical analysis, pending results, said the Health Ministry.

The ministry said it had formed a special task force to monitor the national situation.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed cases of monkeypox in 12 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, France, and Sweden.

These cases exclude the 21 countries where the disease is considered endemic, all in West and Central Africa.


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