ROUNDUP / Monkeypox cases: Lauterbach announces containment | News

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – According to Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, containment measures are being prepared after the first cases of monkey pox in Germany. Recommendations for isolation and quarantine are currently being drawn up for Germany, the minister said on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Monday. He assumes that they could be presented on Tuesday. In addition, vaccination recommendations for vulnerable people are being considered. According to Lauterbach, he has already contacted a manufacturer that produces vaccines specifically for monkey pox.

The Federal Ministry of Health expected further evidence of monkey pox. “Due to the wide range of contacts currently infected, further cases of disease should be expected in Europe, as well as in Germany,” reads the report for the health committee of the Bundestag. As of Sunday, four cases had been reported nationwide, one in Munich and three in Berlin. Samples from many other people are analyzed, and authorities are also looking for contacts who have become infected. More than 100 cases have already been detected worldwide, and due to the long incubation period of up to three weeks, experts assume there will be a large number of further reports in the near future.

UKHSA’s UK health authority agreed on Monday three weeks as the recommended quarantine period for close contacts of infected people. Belgian authorities are ordering 21 days of isolation for infected people, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health said on Monday. This does not apply to the contacts there, but they are only advised to exercise extreme caution.

He believes that the quarantine is “appropriate and important at this stage,” said infecologist Charit Leif Sander on Twitter. It is a very dynamic global epidemic and currently too little is known about its extent and the chain of infection. All close contacts of infected persons should be isolated to prevent further transmission as far as possible.

According to the UKHSA, in the UK, a high-risk contact person is someone who lives in the sick person’s household, has had sex with them, or has changed bedding without protective clothing. This group should therefore also receive a preventive vaccination. The ‘third generation’ vaccine is used against the human smallpox disease, which is considered extinct. Experts assume that such smallpox vaccines also provide good protection against monkey pox.

In the Federal Republic of Germany, vaccination of one-year-old children was compulsory until 1975, in the GDR, vaccination was abolished in 1982, according to a report from the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), which is available to the German Press Agency.

The chairman of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, advocates the vaccination offer because of the higher risk for unvaccinated people. “It would therefore be wise to offer vaccinations to all younger people who are no longer receiving compulsory smallpox vaccinations,” Funke told media group. “The main thing we should think of is the groups that are most at risk right now – ie usually younger men with many changing sexual relationships.”

“At present, exposure to risk appears to come mainly from sexual intercourse between men,” said BMG. “The places of contact with the so far known cases in Germany were party events, incl. in Gran Canaria (Spain) and in Berlin, where there were sexual acts. “

Even though infections currently reported around the world mainly affect men who have had sex with other men, transmission is generally possible through close contact and through contaminated materials. Unlike the Corona, for example, airborne transmission plays almost no role.

In early May, a case of monkey pox was detected in the UK – according to experts, the pathogen has already circulated in many countries. According to health authorities, the virus usually causes only mild symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle pain, and skin rash. However, monkey pox can also have serious consequences, and in individual cases fatal diseases are possible. Surviving an infection can result in scarring and, rarely, blindness.

In previous years, there have also been cases of monkey pox in Western countries – but only in isolated cases and mainly due to infections in Africa. The cases reported now are chains of infection in Western countries. It is still unclear where the sources of the current wave of infection lie. The outburst was not a complete surprise, doctor Montgomery said. “With increasing mobility around the world and the close contact between humans and animals, we must be increasingly prepared for such virus outbreaks.”

The isolation of patients in clinics is extremely important, according to virologist Isabella Eckerle of the University of Geneva. This reduces the release of a stable virus into the environment, she explained on Twitter: “You need to avoid the formation of animal pools here (rats in sewage / domestic waste, pets, livestock).” Monkey pox can infect many species. She warned that establishing permanent animal reserves outside of Africa would be a serious problem – for both wild and farmed animals. This aspect should not be considered too late. / Sam / DP / ngu

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