There are 37 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Portugal and there are still more suspected cases awaiting results. 35 of these cases have been detected in the region of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo. The two other cases have been detected in the North of Portugal and the Algarve. According to the Directorate-General of Health of Portugal (DGS), the confirmed cases belong to a less aggressive subgroup of the virus monkeypox. Last week, there were only 5 confirmed cases of monkeypox.
The DGS has said that the 37 confirmed cases in Portugal are being monitored by the health services and remain stable. Those with suspected symptoms should avoid “physical contact with other people and sharing clothes, towels, sheets, and personal objects while having lesions or other symptoms”, according to the DGS.
Monkeypox can be transmitted via broken skin like a wound, the respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). Margarida Tavares, the director of the National Program for STDs and HIV for DGS has told the public to look out for symptoms such as fever, myalgia, headaches, and skin or mucosal lesions.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) confirmed 85 cases in the European Union on Monday and has recommended that countries update their diagnostic and tracking methods.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the monkeypox virus outbreaks are containable in countries outside of Africa, where the virus is usually not detected. Experts say the overall risk to the broader population is very low, according to the BBC.
Belgium has been the first country in Europe to introduce a mandatory quarantine of three weeks. The United Kingdom has recommended a three-week quarantine, but this is not mandatory.