October 1, 2023

Was wir mit den Affenpocken gerade erleben, ist nicht der Beginn einer neuen Pandemie: Gesundheitsminister Karl Lauterbach. Foto: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa

Diseases: Lauterbach on monkeypox: the situation is serious but not a pandemic

The RKI assumes a general increase in monkeypox diseases in Germany. It’s clear that more cases are expected in this country, Wheeler says. The virus has been known since 1958 and was first discovered in humans in Africa in 1970. Most people usually recover from monkeypox within a few weeks. However, some people can become seriously ill.

According to Lauterbach, “up to 40,000 doses” of the smallpox vaccine were ordered in the event monkeypox spread further. A vaccine called Imvanex for monkeypox has been approved in the United States. It is about preparing for any vaccinations that may be necessary for people in contact with infected people (ring vaccinations). According to the authorities, more than 1,000 doses of Imvanex have already been given to contactable people in Great Britain on Tuesday. 3500 more cans in stock.

Several countries are reporting cases

About 250 cases of monkeypox have been reported from 16 countries to the World Health Organization (WHO). However, this number of confirmed infections and suspected cases only affects countries where the viral disease previously did not occur regularly, WHO expert Rosamund Lewis said in Geneva. Slovenia and the Czech Republic also reported their first cases of monkeypox on Tuesday.

Most of those infected in many countries who have recently become known for RKI have been infected in large events “related to sexual activities,” Wheeler said. If an unusual rash occurs, for example, and monkeypox is suspected, you should go to the doctor immediately. Evidence of infection has already been reported in several federal states, including Saxony-Anhalt, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Berlin, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.

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According to health authorities, the virus usually causes only mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches and rash. However, monkeypox can also have acute courses, and fatal illnesses are likely in individual cases. The consequences of surviving infection can be scarring and, rarely, blindness.