BRUSSELS

Belgian health authorities will hold an emergency meeting on Friday after the second case of monkeypox was detected in the country within 24 hours.

“The second case of monkeypox was diagnosed by our laboratory in Leuven,” Marc Van Ranst, professor of virology at Leuven Catholic University, announced on Twitter.

He said the man from the Flanders region is not seriously ill, and his infection was discovered due to the typical marks on his hands.

The first monkeypox case was diagnosed on Thursday evening in the city of Antwerp.

The two cases might have been linked as the two people attended earlier the same festival.

The responsible health authorities are set to discuss later on Friday a nationwide approach to counter the spread of the virus.

Since the beginning of May, people in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden as well as Canada and the US have been infected with monkeypox.

France and Australia also reported their first cases on Friday.

Monkeypox is a virus transmitted to humans from animals, with symptoms of fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes.

The disease is believed to be difficult to spread, but the novel pattern of transmission suggests more investigation is needed.

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