Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

Monkeypox outbreaks in Europe linked to fetish festival and sauna superspreader event

Separate Monkeypox outbreaks in Europe have been linked to a fetish festival and a sauna superspreader event.

It comes as a total of 20 cases of the viral condition, which is not normally found outside of Africa, have now been confirmed in the UK - with other incidences of the disease also being recorded across Western Europe, as well as in Australia, the US and Canada.

In Spain, the majority of the country's 30 people who have been diagnosed with monkeypox are said to have contracted it from a specific sauna in the nation's capital city, as reported in The Daily Mirror. Health officials have also claimed that a "notable proportion" of the people infected in the UK and Europe are gay or bisexual men, according to the Madrid region's health chief Enrique Ruiz Escudero.

Portugal's first 14 cases were also from males with the same sexual orientation whilst, in Belgium, three moneypox patients were reported by The Daily Telegraph as having attended an Antwerp fetish festival named Darklands which describes itself as a place where “various tribes in the gay fetish community (leather, rubber, army, skinhead, puppies...) come together to create a unique spectacle of fetish brotherhood”. A statement on the festival's website, meanwhile, read: "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 number of monkeypox cases more than doubled in the UK on Friday and, worldwide, 127 instances of the illness have been found in 11 countries, according to Harvard Medical School professor John Brownstein. Its symptoms include headache, swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills and muscle pains and scientists in Germany reckon this outbreak is the largest that has ever been witnessed in Europe with the Robert Koch Institute's Fabian Leendertz describing the current situation as an epidemic, which is defined as the widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.

For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea