Health: More than 200 registered cases of monkeypox in Germany – panorama

This 2003 electron microscope graphic shows mature oval-shaped (l) and immature spherical (r) monkeypox viruses. Photo: Cynthia S. Goldsmith / Russell Regner / CDC / AP / dpa

Three weeks ago, the first patient with monkeypox became known in this country. Since then, more than 200 cases have been added. However, the RKI sees no threat to the general public.

BERLIN – The number of monkeypox records recorded by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany has risen to more than 200.

The RKI gave the number of patients on its website on Tuesday at exactly 229, up from about 190 the day before. Moreover, no cases of infection in women and children have been detected, a spokeswoman for the Royal Institute of Korea said upon request. According to the institute, eleven federal states have reported those infected with the viral disease. There are especially many in Berlin, where 142 cases were registered as of Monday. The risk assessment for RKI continues: “According to current knowledge, the RKI assesses the risk to the health of the general population in Germany as low.”

“The numbers are neither surprising nor frightening – according to the current state of knowledge, as expected, the virus is transmitted practically only through direct contact,” virologist Gerd Sutter of the Institute of Infectious Medicine and Zoonoses at LMU Munich said on Tuesday. Demand. He described the rate of spread as “relatively slow”. He predicts that by vaccinating contacts or specific target groups, “the spread of the disease can still be reduced.”

Intermittent transmission still

There are still isolated cases of transmission, said Timo Ulrichs, a global health expert at Akkon University for the Humanities in Berlin, “but the outbreak is not creating dramatically increased numbers of cases.” Sexually transmitted infections spread more slowly than infections transmitted through the air. Since May, monkeypox has been detected in hundreds of people in many countries outside Africa.

“Monkeypox was expected to travel from Africa to the world at all, but it was surprising in such dynamic,” Ulrich says. The cases now documented in Germany can be severely limited by various measures. This includes comprehensive, quality education about transmission methods and protection options – this is mainly in line with the rules for safer sex – as well as targeted vaccinations.

As Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) recently announced, the vaccine should be available from June 15. The Standing Committee on Immunization (Stiko) announced last week that the Imvanex smallpox vaccine would be recommended for certain groups. These include adults who have been in contact with infected people and men who have had same-sex sexual contact with altered partners. Due to the limited availability of the vaccine initially, it was argued that the vaccine should be offered preferentially to people who have been exposed to the virus.

The European Union buys 110,000 doses of vaccine

The European Union plans to purchase about 110,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine. On Tuesday, on the sidelines of the EU ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said she would sign the agreement later today. The first packages should be delivered to EU countries as early as the end of June. There are currently 900 cases of monkeypox in the European Union and about 1,400 worldwide, Kyriakides said.

Monkeypox is considered a less serious disease compared to smallpox that has been eradicated since 1980. Experts have warned of the spread of the virus, for example at upcoming festivals and parties. According to the RKI, the incubation period ranges from 5 to 21 days. Symptoms (including fever and rash, for example) usually go away on their own within a few weeks, but can lead to medical complications and, very rarely, death in some people.

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