More than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have now been confirmed worldwide, spread across 75 countries. Both the number of confirmed cases and the number of countries where the disease is present are continuing to rise. For that reason, WHO has declared that monkeypox is an international risk to public health. The first case of monkeypox in the Netherlands was found on 20 May 2022. 818 people have tested positive for monkeypox since then, reflecting the same upward trend in the number of infections in the Netherlands.
On Saturday 23 July 2022, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to designate monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The number of infections is on the increase and the number of countries with monkeypox cases is rising. West Africa, a region where monkeypox was already prevalent, is now also seeing an increase in cases.
Policy in the Netherlands
This new status does not have any consequences for infection control policy in the Netherlands. Starting on 25 July, high-risk groups will be offered vaccination (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Vaccination is one of the ways to control the outbreak of monkeypox by limiting transmission of the virus. It also remains important to be alert for symptoms that could indicate monkeypox. If you or someone else may have been infected, do not have sex or any intimate contact, and make an appointment to get tested for monkeypox by the GGD or your GP right away. This applies even if you are vaccinated.
Number of infections
Since the start of the outbreak in the Netherlands, 818 people have been infected with monkeypox, 6 of whom are women. Anyone can get monkeypox, and infections with the virus occur in all age categories. However, most of the recent infections so far have involved MSM contact (men who have sex with men). The highest risk of infection in this group is among men who frequently have sex with multiple partners. The virus is expected to continue spreading.
Visit the webpage Monkeypox for:
- the number of reported cases of monkeypox from the first day of illness in the Netherlands
- the number of monkeypox cases by region