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Lauterbach: Germany in Process of Preparing Measures Against Monkeypox

Days after neighboring Belgium put in place a quarantine rule for persons infected with the Monkeypox virus, Germany might follow suit. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the government would probably announce its measures on Tuesday.

Berlin, May 24th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — What are the odds of two global viruses hitting at the same time? These days, they could be higher than anticipated. While Germany and other parts of the world were getting used to the fact that the Coronavirus infection numbers are decreasing right now, and only a few weeks after most Corona restrictions were lifted, the Monkeypox virus hit.

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Five Cases

First, there was a case in Bavaria. Then, two cases in Berlin were added to the list. Now, there are more Monkeypox infections in Baden-Württemberg and Saxony-Anhalt, meaning there are at least five known cases in the Federal Republic of Germany. A further increase of the Monkeypox infection numbers is expected, which is why the German government intends to come up with measures quickly.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach discussed the Monkeypox outbreak in Europe, North America and elsewhere with his colleagues at the World Health Assembly on Monday. He said, the government in Berlin was in the process of preparing recommendations in regard to isolation and quarantine. The outcome would probably be announced on Tuesday.

Limited Outbreak

Lauterbach also said he was already in contact with the manufacturer of a vaccine against Monkeypox. Recommendations for vaccinations, specifically for persons who might be at risk, would follow. Since the Monkeypox virus is not new, at least in West and Central Africa, there already is a specific vaccine. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin believes that Smallpox vaccinations protect those who got them decades ago. In West Germany, they were mandatory until 1975, in the GDR until 1982.

The German Health Ministry expects more Monkeypox infections to surface in a limited outbreak. In other words: The Monkeypox virus will not be spreading like the Corona. In the meantime, local health authorities in several federal states are busy looking for persons who were in contact with the infected. Suspected Monkeypox cases are being examined.

Exposure Locations

According to Karl Lauterbach, especially men who have sexual contacts with other men are at risk of contracting the Monkeypox. His Ministry says party events in Gran Canaria and Berlin had been the exposure locations that were connected to the known Monkeypox cases in Germany. Sexual acts had been carried out there. The risk to the general population was low, the RKI said.

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