This is an important message to all visitors of Darklands 2022 regarding confirmed cases of the Monkeypox virus.
The health department of the Belgian government has confirmed 3 cases of the Monkeypox virus linked to visitors at Darklands.
There’s reason to assume that the virus has been brought in by visitors from abroad to the festival after recent cases in other countries.
The Risk Assessment Group of the federal government has asked Darklands to inform it’s guest about these infections and share the following information:
– Monkeypox has an incubation period of 5 to 21 days. Be vigilant during the three weeks after your last close contact.
– If you notice unusual blisters or injuries, please go to the ER unit of a nearby hospital en mention you suspect Monkeypox.
– If the suspicion is confirmed, those persons will need to quarantine for 3 weeks without having sexual contacts.
Please follow up on this request and look for information and regulations given by the government in your home country.
Read the official press release by the Belgian authorities below for more information.
FIRST CASES OF MONKEYPOX FOUND IN BELGIUM
Three cases of Monkeypox have been identified in Belgium, more specifically on Flemish territory. In recent weeks, cases have also been identified in Europe, in particular in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain, mainly in men who have sex with men (MSM), but not exclusively.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that occurs in West Africa and does not spread easily among the population. For transmission, a person must have had close contact with an infected person (including through droplet transmission), or contact with clothing or linens used by an infected person to transmit the infection. Monkeypox can therefore be transmitted through sexual contact. However, the risk to the general population is low.
After an incubation period of 5 to 21 days, infected individuals typically go through a period of mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes and fatigue. Skin rashes may develop, often on the face, but also in the genital area. The rash changes and goes through several stages, from a pimple to a blister, until finally a crust forms. A person is especially contagious during the period when there are skin lesions, but transmission in the days before the symptoms are not excluded. Most people recover within a few weeks. Exceptionally, these symptoms can be more severe. At present, the symptoms reported in Europe are mostly mild in cases, and no deaths have been reported.
The number of cases in Belgium is closely monitored.
If you develop a suspicious skin rash, the advice at this point is to contact an emergency department as soon as possible, who may refer you to a hospital with more expertise. As long as monkeypox has not been ruled out or until the infection has cleared, close contact with others should be avoided and no sexual contact is recommended.
Men who have sex with other men, or those who have multiple sexual partners, should be especially vigilant.