After two years of Corona, Germany’s Health Ministry is now analyzing the spread of another virus known as Monkeypox. The first infection was just reported in Munich. Germany is the fifth country to be hit in mainland Europe.
Sofia, Bulgaria, May 21st, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — Munich’s Institute for Microbiology confirmed there was now one patient with Monkeypox. This is the first case in Germany. Shortly before, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain had reported their first infections. Great Britain had recently reported six Monkeypox cases. More Monkeypox infections were registered in Australia and North America and countries in West and Central Africa.
Question of Time
Several German-language newspapers quoted Health Minister Karl Lauterbach as saying it had only been a question of time until the Monkeypox would be reported in Germany too. He stated according to the latest information, this virus was not very infectious, which meant the outbreak could be contained. Lauterbach announced the Ministry of Health would now analyze the reported Monkeypox virus case and check whether this was a more contagious variant or not.
The Monkeypox version that spreads in West Africa can cause severe disease progressions. But, with a mortality rate of 1 percent, it is less dangerous than the Central African variant. In the latter case, up to 10 percent of infected patients die. In the United Kingdom, the less dangerous variant was identified. Both versions can be passed on by droplet infection, through sexual contacts or contact with the skin of infected persons.
Breaking Infection Chains
According to the World Health Organization, tracking down persons who were in contact with infected individuals is important. That way, infection chains can be broken. The Monkeypox are related to the Variola Virus, just like the smallpox that were eradicated in the 1980s. For the latter reason, Europeans have not been vaccinated against smallpox for decades. But there is vaccine.
Virologists believe that people who are older than 40 and were vaccinated against smallpox decades ago could still be protected against severe disease progressions. There have been cases of Monkeypox in Europe before. In those cases, the infected persons had taken trips to West or Central Africa. But it is unclear how the latest outbreak in Europe was caused.
In Germany and elsewhere in Europe, infection chains and more infected persons are supposed to be identified. Information on the Monkeypox is being sent out to hospitals and doctor’s offices. That way, doctors and other medical staff members are supposed to be made aware on how they can identify infections.
Main picture at top of page by ArcMachaon (see license)
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