Monkeypox cases must be reported for effective disease control

On 20 May 2022 the first cases of monkeypox were confirmed in the Netherlands. It is expected that more cases will be reported in the days ahead.

Health minister Ernst Kuipers designated the monkeypox as a category A disease today. This is in line with the advice of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). It means doctors must report new or suspected cases immediately to prevent the virus from spreading. This enables people carrying the virus to be identified at an early stage, so that they can isolate. Their contacts may also have to follow certain measures, like quarantining. Measures to control the disease are aimed specifically at infected individuals and their contacts. General measures for everyone are unlikely to be necessary.

People with a confirmed or suspected monkeypox infection should isolate at home. They can be tested. If the result of this test is negative, they can end their isolation. If they test positive, they should continue isolating until they are no longer infectious. This is not until their skin has healed completely.


Monkeypox is a disease that occurs mostly in West and Central Africa. It mainly infects rodents but people can also get the disease. Symptoms are usually mild.

For more information about monkeypox, go to the website of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).