In Berlin, the number of monkeypox cases has more than doubled since Monday, and the health administration is expecting more cases, as it announced when asked by the Tagesspiegel. By Thursday evening, 39 infections had been registered in Berlin, and nine patients were in the hospital. On Monday there were 18 cases. All reported cases involve men. The administration rejected further information, such as the vaccination status of those affected with regard to a smallpox vaccination and the severity of their illness, with reference to data protection.
The first infections in Berlin were confirmed almost two weeks ago. Nationwide, 65 monkeypox cases from nine federal states – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt – had been transmitted to the Robert Koch Institute by Friday noon. That means eight new cases within one day.
The monkeypox virus is transmitted through close physical contact and in particular through the mucous membranes, Berlin’s health senator Ulrike Gote (Greens) explained on Tuesday. “The virus doesn’t differentiate according to sexual orientation at all.”
The virus is not comparable to the corona virus, among other things not as contagious. Nevertheless, it is important to take the whole thing seriously and to consult a doctor in the event of symptoms or the first signs. Because of the tracking of infection chains, this also applies to contact persons of infected people.
According to information from the health administration, the Berlin patients are under observation by their responsible health department. “The health authorities are also responsible for tracing the contacts of people with whom the patients have been in close contact and consistently perform this task,” it said. “In principle, preventive measures such as avoiding close physical contact are also indicated at the current time.”
People who suspect that they are in contact with an infected person are urgently asked to contact the health department in their district and to stay at home and limit contacts. If you have symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately.
To communicate the infection process in relation to men who have sex with other men, the health administration works “with organizations that the target group knows particularly well and can take advantage of this experience, e.g. with the German Aids Aid.” In addition, the administration has put a page with information online.
Compared to smallpox, which has been eradicated since 1980, monkeypox is considered a less serious disease. Symptoms usually go away on their own within a few weeks, but can lead to medical complications and, in very rare cases, death in some people.