The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recommends isolation for at least 21 days in the case of an infection with monkeypox. In addition, there is also an “urgent recommendation” for contact persons to go into isolation for at least 21 days, said Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach on Tuesday in a joint press conference with RKI President Lothar Wieler.
This measure is intended to get the outbreak in Germany under control. “We have a good chance of stopping this pathogen, not only in Germany but throughout Europe,” said Lauterbach. At the same time, he emphasized that what is currently being experienced with monkeypox is “not the beginning of a new pandemic”.
The virus has now also reached the Arab world: A first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in the United Arab Emirates. Morocco had previously reported three suspected cases. However, a confirmation is still pending
According to Wieler, five cases had been sent to the RKI in Germany as of Tuesday morning. These are exclusively men.
On Tuesday, however, the number of cases of infection continued to rise: the city of Cologne reported three more confirmed cases. In Hesse, the Ministry of Social Affairs, which is responsible for health, announced a proven case in Frankfurt am Main. In Bavaria, the number of confirmed cases rose from one to three.
Most people usually recover from monkeypox within a few weeks, Wieler said. However, some people can develop serious illnesses. The pathogens are not easy to transmit from person to person, close contact is necessary.
The virus can be transmitted regardless of sexual orientation, gender and age. According to current knowledge, however, the risk to the health of the general population is considered to be low.
Most of the infected people in several countries known to the RKI were infected at large events “that were associated with sexual activities,” said Wieler. If, for example, an unusual rash occurs and monkeypox is suspected, you should go to the doctor immediately.
The RKI recommends isolation until the crusts fall off, but at least 21 days. For close contacts, a 21-day quarantine is recommended. “We are in an early stage of this outbreak.” Much is still unknown, but the situation is being monitored closely.
According to Lauterbach, “up to 40,000 doses” of smallpox vaccine have been ordered in the event of a further spread of monkeypox in Germany. The vaccine called Imvanex has been approved in the United States against monkeypox, said the SPD politician on Tuesday on the sidelines of the German Doctors’ Day in Bremen. It is about being prepared for any vaccinations that may be necessary for contact persons of infected people (ring vaccinations).