Belgium has become the first country to introduce a mandatory 21-day quarantine for monkeypox patients as cases of the disease — typically endemic to Africa — spread across the globe.
Health authorities in Belgium introduced the measures Friday after reporting its third case of the virus.
As of Monday, the country has recorded four local cases; confirmed global infections currently number around 100.
Belgium’s compulsory measures apply only to patients with a confirmed infection. Close contacts are not required to self-isolate but are encouraged to remain vigilant, especially if in contact with vulnerable people.
“Infected persons will have to go into contact isolation until the injuries have healed (they will receive concrete instructions about this from the treating doctor),” a translated version of the government announcement said.
The U.K. meanwhile has said those who have a high risk of catching the disease should self-isolate for 21 days. That includes household contacts or medical professionals who may have come into contact with an infected patient.
As of Saturday, the World Health Organization reported that there were 92 cases in 12 countries, and a further 28 suspected cases under investigation.
The U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal and Netherlands have all confirmed cases.