Monkeypox in Germany: first confirmed case from Munich

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Will: Martina Lippl, Christoph Gschossmann


A first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Germany.
A first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Germany. © A. von Dueren/Imago; Western Light/Imago; Collage: Sabrina Wagner/RUHR24

The Bundeswehr confirms a first case of monkeypox in Germany in Munich. Health Minister Lauterbach speaks directly with an assessment.

  • Monkeypox (Monkeypox): Cases of human monkeypox are increasing in Europe and North America.
  • The disease is already an epidemic – but won’t last long, an expert says.
  • First case in Germany: The Bundeswehr Institute for Microbiology in Munich first detected the monkeypox virus in a patient on May 19, 2022. There are also indications of contacts with infected people in NRW.
  • In adults, monkeypox virus infection is usually mild.

Monkey pox case: NRW investigates indications of possible contacts

Update May 21, 10:23 a.m.: In North Rhine-Westphalia, according to the State Ministry of Health, there are indications “of possible contact between people and the monkeypox virus”. A ministry spokesman told the German Press Agency on Saturday that this advice will be followed. The National Health Center is in close contact with the permanent working group of competence and treatment centers for diseases caused by highly pathogenic pathogens.

“The situation is being closely monitored; doctors and health authorities are urged to be more vigilant,” the ministry spokesperson added. According to the current conclusions of the Robert Koch Institute, a health risk for the general population in Germany is considered to be low.

Update May 21, 10:13 a.m.: With the observed accumulation, monkeypox is already an epidemic – but it is “very unlikely that this epidemic will last for long”, said Fabian Leendertz, founding director of the Helmholtz Institute for One Health (HIOH) in Greifswald and responsible of the epidemiology project group. of highly pathogenic agents at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Cases can be reduced well through contact tracing and there are effective drugs and vaccines that could be used.

According to Leendertz, more data is urgently needed in order to be able to understand if and how the recorded cases are linked. It is also important to decipher the genome of viral material from samples of affected people in order to check whether the pathogen has changed – for example in the direction of better transmissibility.

Monkeypox: how to protect yourself from infection?

Update for May 20, 5:10 p.m.: More and more monkeypox cases are known in Europe and the first case has now been officially confirmed in Germany. But how do you protect yourself from infection and is there already a vaccine?

Update for May 20, 3:40 p.m.: According to the Schwabing Clinic in Munich, the first monkeypox patient reported in Germany is doing relatively well. The young man “received very responsible medical care immediately after the onset of symptoms to protect others from infection,” chief medical officer Clemens Wendtner said on Friday.

With mild swallowing difficulties and a high temperature, he has only minor symptoms and does not yet need any special medication. The monkeypox patient will remain in the hospital as he is expected to be contagious for three to four weeks, Wendtner said. The monkeypox virus usually causes only very mild symptoms, but can also have severe courses. All important information about the pathogen is also summarized whole.

Monkeypox: first patient in Germany comes from Brazil

Update May 20, 1:50 p.m.: The first monkeypox patient reported in Germany is a 26-year-old Brazilian. This was announced by the Bavarian Ministry of Health on Friday. The youngster traveled from Portugal via Spain to Germany and has been in the Bavarian capital for around a week. He had previously visited Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main.

The patient is currently isolated in a ward at the Munich Schwabing clinic, the ministry said. The Bundeswehr Institute for Microbiology in Munich previously reported that it detected the first case of monkeypox in the Federal Republic in the patient on Thursday. Other contacts are being identified.

Monkeypox outbreak: WHO likely to call emergency meetings

Update May 20 at 1:24 p.m.: The World Health Organization (WHO) may be planning an emergency meeting following the recent outbreaks of monkeypox. This is reported by the British The Telegraph. A group of leading experts should therefore be convened. Because the virus is unusually prevalent among gay and bisexual men, it could be a major topic of conversation. Vaccination with a specific smallpox vaccine should therefore also be discussed.

Britain has also ordered a smallpox vaccine. This is also reported by the BBC at the request of the British government. The vaccine should be offered to people at high risk of infection. Although the smallpox vaccine is not specifically tailored to the monkeypox virus, it should provide some protection – especially against more serious illnesses.

Monkeypox confirmed in Germany – Lauterbach comments

Start date 20. May 2022

Munich – Cases of monkeypox are increasing in Europe and North America. Now there is also a case of monkeypox in Germany. This is reported by the Bundeswehr. As the Bundeswehr Institute for Microbiology in Munich announced on Friday, the virus was unequivocally detected in a patient on Thursday. The patient showed characteristic changes in skin. The institute did not give further details at first.

“It was only a matter of time before monkeypox was also detected in Germany,” Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said in Berlin on Friday, as reported by the AFP news agency. Lauterbach assumes that the epidemic can be contained.

Monkeypox: first confirmed case in Germany – infection and symptoms

“Based on the knowledge available so far, we assume that the virus is not so easily transmitted and that this outbreak can be contained,” the health minister said. “But this can only be successful if you act quickly.” The virus is now being analyzed more closely and it is being checked whether it could be a more contagious variant.

According to health authorities, the virus usually only causes mild symptoms, but can also have severe course. In individual cases, fatal diseases are possible. The virus is transmitted mainly by direct contact or by contact with contaminated materials. Transmission by droplets in the air is also possible over shorter distances, which is probably very rare.

Epidemiologist Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia considers the diseases highly unlikely to be fatal in Western countries. But it’s not impossible, he told the broadcaster BBC. Monkeypox is particularly dangerous for a group.

The West African variant of the virus, which is rampant in Europe and the United States, kills around 1% of those infected in Africa. There is also a Central African variant, with 10% of cases on the continent being fatal. According to the Robert Koch Institute, all age groups and both sexes are equally susceptible. Children are particularly affected by lethal courses in Africa.

Cases of monkeypox (monkeypox) have occurred so far in 11 countries (as of 20 May 2022)

Portugal 5 confirmed cases of monkeypox / 20 suspected cases
Spain 7 confirmed cases of monkeypox
You have 2 confirmed cases of monkeypox/20 suspected cases
Britain 9 confirmed cases of monkeypox
Italy 1 confirmed case of monkeypox
Belgium 2 confirmed cases of monkeypox
France 1 confirmed case of monkeypox
Germany 1 confirmed case of monkeypox
UNITED STATES 1 confirmed case of monkeypox
Australia 1 confirmed case of monkeypox
Sweden 1 confirmed case of monkeypox

Monkeypox in Germany/Munich: more and more infections are known

For experts, it was only a matter of time before there was evidence of monkeypox in Germany. “I would be surprised if we did not find infected people in Germany within a few days,” the chairman of the German company STI Norbert Brockmeyer told the dpa news agency on Friday.

Based on the large number of cases in other Western countries, the doctor assumes the virus circulated unnoticed for some time, Brockmeyer said: “Who still thinks about smallpox today?” Due to increased attention to recent reports from Britain is now to be expected with new awareness of the infection and therefore with increased evidence.

After the first cases in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden and France, as well as the US and Canada, have reported confirmed and suspected cases.

Monkeypox: pathogens and symptoms – RKI advises

  • Typical Symptoms of Monkeypox Infection according to RKI:
  • Fever
  • Head, muscle and back pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • chills
  • severe itching

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) only called for vigilance on Thursday. “In case of a suspicious clinical picture, monkeypox infection should be considered, especially in those returning from (West) Africa and, of course, in contact persons of known cases,” says the Epidemiological Bulletin ( May 19). And further: monkeypox should also be considered as a possible cause in the case of unclear smallpox-like skin changes if the affected persons have not traveled to certain areas.

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