First in Munich, now also in Berlin: A total of three monkeypox cases have been confirmed in Germany. There is now evidence in at least eight European countries; more cases are expected.
After a first case in Munich, two infections with the monkeypox virus have now also been detected in Berlin. This was announced by the Senate Health Department on Saturday. The condition of the two patients is stable. The contact persons are currently being investigated. It is not yet known which of the two known variants of the pathogen patients are suffering from.
The Munich patient, in whom a monkeypox infection was confirmed for the first time in Germany, has the milder West African variant. This was the result of the genome analysis of the pathogen at the Bundeswehr Institute for Microbiology, as the Bavarian Ministry of Health announced on Saturday. According to the Munich Schwabing Clinic on Friday, the patient was doing well.
The 26-year-old Brazilian traveled from Portugal to Munich via Spain and had previously stayed in Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main. According to the Ministry of Health of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, there are indications “of a possible contact between people and the monkeypox virus”. A ministry spokesman said on Saturday that such advice would be followed up. The state health center is in close contact with the permanent working group of the centers of competence and treatment of diseases caused by highly pathogenic pathogens at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
According to WHO, most new cases are mild
Most of the cases currently under investigation are mild, according to Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the World Health Organization. According to information on Friday, cases are known in at least eight countries in the WHO region: in addition to Germany, these are Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden and Great Britain. Cases have also been confirmed in Australia, Canada, and the US, and thus in other regions of the world outside of Africa, where the virus originates. A first case was detected in Switzerland on Saturday, the canton of Bern announced.
The newly detected infections are atypical because most of those affected have not traveled to West or Central Africa, where the disease is endemic, Kluges said in the statement. He also calls attention to the fact that most of the infections discovered initially were found in homosexual men. The fact that cases are found across Europe suggests that the virus has been transmitted for some time.
Concern about spreading the disease at large events and parties.
Kluge fears that broadcasts could speed up in the summer season with massive events, festivals and parties. Currently, the virus is found in sexually active people, many of whom are unfamiliar with the symptoms.
Meanwhile, the Spanish authorities are investigating the suspicion that the gay pride festivities on the tourist island of Gran Canaria could have been a possible source of contagion. This was reported by the newspaper “El Pas”, citing sources from the health sector. Some 80,000 people from Spain and many other countries took part in “Maspalomas Pride” from May 5 to 15, which was attended mainly by homosexuals, the newspaper reported.
30 cases and 23 suspected cases in Spain alone
It is said that men from Italy, Madrid and the island of Tenerife, where the virus was detected, participated in the celebrations. Intimate contacts are a possible route of transmission of the virus. Authorities had already closed a sauna in Madrid on Friday because several men are said to have also been infected there. In Spain, until Friday, 30 cases of monkeypox had been detected. There are also 23 other suspected cases.
In Sweden, the government has classified monkeypox as dangerous to the public after the first confirmed case on Thursday. “The classification allows measures to be taken to prevent infection in order to prevent further spread,” explained Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren.
According to health authorities, the virus usually causes only mild symptoms, but can also lead to serious courses. In individual cases, fatal diseases are possible. The virus is transmitted mainly by direct contact or contact with contaminated materials.
Experts assume that the epidemic may be well contained
The observed increase is already an epidemic, but it is “highly unlikely that this epidemic will last long,” said Fabian Leendertz, founding director of the Helmholtz Institute for One Health (HIOH) in Greifswald and head of the Epidemiology of Highly Pathogenic Diseases project group. Pathogens in the RKI. Cases can be reduced well through contact tracing. There are also effective drugs and vaccines that could be used.
The disease is called monkeypox after the pathogen was first detected in monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958. Experts suspect the virus actually circulates in squirrels and rodents, while monkeys and humans are considered fake. guests.