Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and the federal government’s Commissioner for Gay Affairs, Sven Lehmann, have warned against stigmatizing gay men in relation to monkey bars. Lauterbach (Social Democratic Party) said Wednesday evening on the ZDF “Marcus Lanz” program that “homosexuals and men who have sex with men should be prevented from being stigmatized”. “It’s just important to say: It can happen to anyone.”
It is a fallacy “that gay and bisexual men are more at risk. The virus knows no sexual orientation,” Lehmann, the Green Party politician, told Funke Media Group newspapers. “Fear promotion and stigmatization” should be avoided at all costs.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), monkeypox is transmitted from person to person through close physical contact. So far, special cases have been diagnosed in men who have same-sex sex. Lauterbach also noted this on Tuesday: “The main risk group right now is men who have had sex with other men. And you have to be able to address that in order to protect this group.”
Increased sensitivity to monkeypox transmission is important, Lyman said. This also includes “addressing target groups for men who have sex with men”. But he added that increased alertness to symptoms should apply to all people. “Many gay men are reminded of the beginning of the AIDS crisis, when infection was attributed exclusively to gay men. As a result, gay men were stigmatized and other groups were given little protection.”
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Monkeypox is a less dangerous relative of smallpox, which was eradicated about 40 years ago. Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash that often begins on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. Most people recover within a few weeks.
Lauterbach explained in the presentation: “Monkeypox is not a disease in which we fear a pandemic. (…) There will be no pandemic, the minister said, ‘Monkeypox is a completely different disease’ from the Corona virus. It does not spread so quickly, and the virus is more harmful. In addition That said, the West African type of monkeypox “is not fatal in 99 percent of cases, even in Africa, where health systems are not good.”
You should expect the patient to be contagious for at least 21 days. Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Health, in conjunction with the RKI, made the following recommendation: “You must be in isolation for 21 days, either in hospital or at home. (…) Those who have been in direct contact (…) must be placed in Quarantine for 21 days.
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He also bought a monkeypox vaccine to protect “exposed people.” According to the Federal Minister of Health, a corresponding recommendation on the groups of people to be vaccinated is currently being worked on.
According to health authorities in the European Union, more than 200 cases of monkeypox have now been confirmed outside Africa. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said, on Wednesday evening, that a total of 19 countries in which the disease does not occur naturally, have confirmed the presence of at least one case. Most of the cases are young men who identify themselves as men who have sex with men. The Stockholm-based European agency added.
Outside the 11 African countries where this rare disease is endemic, most confirmed cases are currently concentrated in three countries: the United Kingdom (71 cases), Spain (51) and Portugal (37). A total of 191 cases have been confirmed in Europe, plus 15 in Canada, nine in the United States, two in Australia, and one each in Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Suspicious cases were not counted in the balance sheet.
On Monday, in its first risk assessment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) rated the likelihood of infection in the general population as “very low,” but “high” in people with multiple sexual partners. The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed optimism that it will be able to stop the spread of the disease. (dpa, AFP, Tsp)