The first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Germany. As the Bundeswehr Institute for Microbiology announced on Friday in Munich, the virus was unequivocally detected in a patient on Thursday.

The patient showed the characteristic skin changes. The institute did not initially give any further details.

Because of several cases of monkeypox in other European countries, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) called for vigilance on Thursday. Especially those returning from West Africa and men who have sex with men should see a doctor immediately if they have unusual skin changes.

Since the beginning of May, dozens of suspected and confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported in several European and North American countries. After the first cases in Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden and France as well as the USA and Canada also reported confirmed and suspected cases.

Symptoms of monkeypox in humans include fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash that often starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body.

Most people recover from the disease within several weeks, and death is rare. The disease, which is widespread primarily in central and west Africa, is usually transmitted through close contact with infected rodents. Human-to-human transmission is rare and only possible through close contact, but can occur through contact with bodily fluids or scabs of the infected, presumably also during sexual activity.

In Nigeria, monkeypox infections have been increasingly diagnosed in humans since 2017. According to the RKI, however, monkeys are not the reservoir animals in the African endemic areas.