Belgium will take part in large-scale European monkeypox study

Belgium, along with nine other countries, is participating in a large-scale European study on monkeypox. The aim is to better understand the disease by following patients, recording their symptoms and studying their response to treatment.

The new study builds on ongoing research in the Central African Republic. For now, Switzerland is the first country where patients are being recruited for the study. 

"Thanks to international cooperation, we are contributing to a better understanding and therefore to an adapted approach to the disease," said Professor Alexandra Calmy, head of the HIV/AIDS unit at Swiss hospital HUG. At least 500 patients are expected to be included in the study, Professor Calmy added. 

Ten countries have announced their participation so far. In addition to Belgium, these include Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain.

Monkeypox is a relatively rare disease that usually causes a painful rash. The disease, which is rarely fatal, was discovered in the late 1950s, with outbreaks in Central and West Africa. The disease has since also spread to Europe.

168 confirmed and one probable case of monkeypox have been registered in Belgium so far, according to the latest report from the health institute Sciensano on Wednesday. On Thursday, the country received a first delivery of 3,040 vaccines to combat the spread of the virus. 



© PHOTO Cynthia S. Goldsmith / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / AFP

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