The number of registered monkeypox cases in Berlin has continued to rise.

As of Monday, 317 laboratory-confirmed infections were known in the capital, 23 patients were in the hospital, as reported by the Senate Department for Science, Health, Care and Equality in an online overview. Before the weekend on Friday, there were 259 confirmed cases.

Nationwide, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 469 cases of monkeypox on Tuesday. Fourteen federal states reported cases of the actually rare virus disease, especially many in Berlin.

“Since the infection is likely to occur via contact with the mucous membranes, close physical/sexual contact with different people or strangers should also be avoided if possible,” advises the Berlin health administration. Safer sex rules such as the use of condoms should be observed, it said.

Monkeypox is considered a less serious disease compared to smallpox, which has been eradicated since 1980. According to the RKI, the pathogen is usually transmitted from person to person through close physical contact. Experts assume that the outbreak can be contained. The risk to the general public is still considered to be low.

Symptoms, which include fever and a rash, 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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The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) recommends vaccination for certain risk groups and people who have had close contact with infected people. The committee sees an increased risk of infection in men who have same-sex sexual contact with changing partners. A precautionary vaccination may also be an option for staff in special laboratories.