According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of confirmed cases of monkeypox in countries where the virus does not otherwise circulate has risen to 780. Men who have sex with men are still mainly, but not exclusively, affected. The majority of cases (688) were reported from European countries.
For Germany, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 65 monkeypox cases from nine federal states on Friday. “As far as is known, most of those affected do not become seriously ill,” it said. Further cases are to be expected, but according to current knowledge the risk to the general public can be assessed as low.
The WHO continues to classify the global risk from monkeypox as “moderate”. However, “a high risk to public health could arise if the virus manages to become a common human pathogen in non-endemic countries,” it said.
Compared to smallpox, which has been eradicated since 1980, monkeypox is considered a less serious disease. The pathogen is transmitted primarily through close contact from person to person. Symptoms usually go away on their own within a few weeks, but can lead to medical complications and, in very rare cases, death in some people. According to the WHO, there are no deaths among the cases recorded in western countries, but a total of 66 people have died from monkeypox in five African countries this year.
Monkeypox has so far been confirmed in these countries (current number of cases in brackets, as of 06.06.22):