Munich: first case of monkeypox detected in Germany

Contact persons are identified

Several outbreaks of monkeypox have recently appeared in Europe, including Great Britain, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and Belgium. Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, and rash, which usually start on the face and spread to the rest of the body.

Bavarian Minister of Health Klaus Holetschek (CSU) stressed: “The Bavarian Ministry of Health is in close contact with the clinic and the RKI. The Munich city health department is currently identifying further close contacts. According to Holetschek, these should be explained in detail and informed about possible symptoms, hygiene measures and transmission routes. In addition, all health authorities in Bavaria should be informed in detail today.

Munich health officer Beatrix Zurek also explained: “Once we became aware of the suspected case through the practice report, we immediately contacted the person concerned and inquired about close contact with LMU’s Tropical Institute and with experts at the state and federal level.”

Infection confirmed by a special PCR test

After the 26-year-old noticed the first symptoms, he immediately went alone for a medical examination. The health service was informed immediately due to the suspicion of typical symptoms. A special PCR test confirmed the virus infection in the patient. Whether it is the West or Central African strain of the virus will be determined by ongoing sequencing by the middle of next week.

Minor patient symptoms only

The patient came to Germany from Portugal via Spain and has been in Munich for about a week. Before arriving in Munich, he was in Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. Clemens Wendtner, Chief Physician for Infectiology Schwabing, explained: “The young man is doing well. He has minor symptoms with slight swallowing difficulties and a high temperature. The disease-typical pustules trigger corresponding itching.” . According to Wendtner, the young man went to medical care very responsibly immediately after the symptoms appeared.

Lauterbach: The epidemic can be limited

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) was confident. It assumes that the epidemic can be contained. “It was only a matter of time before monkeypox was also detected in Germany,” Lauterbach explained.

In principle, infection from person to person is possible, but only likely in the event of intensive contact, explained Professor Christian Weidner, president of the State Office for Health and Food Safety (LGL ): “Medical personnel in particular should nevertheless take the usual protective measures against droplet and smear infections.” In the case of monkeypox virus infection, the appearance of the first symptoms may take seven to 21 days.

Easily controllable monkeypox

According to doctors, monkeypox is easy to control. The virus spreads mainly through animal transmissions, but also – although less frequently – between people. It was first found in monkeys in 1958, and rodents are now thought to be its primary host. The disease is usually mild. Children catch the virus more often, probably because they play more intensely with animals.

Many Germans not vaccinated against smallpox

From a scientific point of view, it is now necessary to verify the contagiousness of the virus and whether it is a mutated, more contagious variant. According to experts, many Germans are not vaccinated against smallpox. The potential for infections caused by the pathogen is therefore significantly higher than it was 20 years ago. Depending on further developments, vaccinations against smallpox should be considered.

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