The first cases of monkeypox have now also occurred in Germany. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is concerned – and wants to develop containment measures. In the meantime, four contacts of the infected person are in quarantine in Munich.

After the first cases of monkeypox in Germany, further containment measures are being prepared, according to Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. Recommendations on isolation and quarantine are currently being developed with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), said the SPD politician on Monday on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva. He assumes that they could already be presented this Tuesday.

In addition, it is being considered “whether we might have to make vaccination recommendations for people who are particularly at risk,” explained the minister. This has not yet been clarified. This also includes checking whether vaccines might need to be procured, and if so, where. He has already contacted a manufacturer who makes vaccines specifically for monkeypox. Lauterbach emphasized that vaccination of the general population is not under discussion here.

He advocated firm international containment. “The worldwide outbreak of monkeypox infections is so unusual that we have to worry if it will be like previous monkeypox outbreaks,” said the health minister in Geneva. It is more likely that the way of spreading could have changed, “so that we now have to react quickly and hard to contain a global outbreak again”.

Lauterbach explained that according to previous knowledge, it was primarily men who had had sexual contact with men who were infected. It is now important to address the risk groups honestly. This is for their protection and should not be misunderstood as stigmatization. The minister appealed to all those who have had anonymous sex with men to look out for skin changes and fever and to seek medical treatment very quickly if they suspect it.

According to the Ministry of Health, four close contacts of the patient are in quarantine after the first case of monkeypox in Munich. Suspected cases of monkeypox were also reported in Berlin and Cologne on Monday.

In the meantime, the first case of monkeypox has also been detected in Baden-Württemberg. As the Ministry of Health in Stuttgart announced on Monday, a patient from the Ortenau district with a corresponding infection has been treated as an inpatient at the University Hospital in Freiburg since Sunday evening.

According to experts, the increased occurrence of monkeypox in numerous countries outside of Africa is unusual. In response to the viral disease, Belgium is now the first country in the world to introduce a quarantine requirement for infected people.

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