Anyone who has been infected with the monkeypox virus will have to isolate themselves for 21 days in the Netherlands.

The Dutch health authorities decided on Friday to curb the spread of the disease, reports the Belgian news magazine "The Brussel Times".

The German Federal Ministry of Health, however, expects increasing cases of monkeypox.

“Due to the diverse contacts of those currently infected, further diseases are to be expected in Europe and also in Germany,” says a report for the Bundestag’s health committee.

As of Sunday afternoon, there are now four confirmed cases of infection and illness in Germany - one in Munich and three in Berlin.

Samples from other people are being clarified.

Contact persons would be identified.

"It is now an event with international distribution," says the ministry report, which is available to the German Press Agency.

In numerous countries, more than 130 confirmed cases and suspected cases have been detected, “and the trend is increasing every day”.

So far, the West African monkeypox variant has been detected in the infections found in Europe, but further genome analyzes are still ongoing.

In order to register possible diseases and prevent further spread, diagnosed cases of infection should be systematically recorded and isolated.

These should be reported by doctors and laboratories in accordance with the Infection Protection Act.

Argentina's Ministry of Health also reports a first suspected case in the capital Buenos Aires.

So far, no cases have been registered in Latin America.

It is the first time chains of infection have emerged outside of African countries.

Usually only mild symptoms such as fever

"A smallpox vaccination probably also protects against monkeypox," explains the Federal Ministry of Health.

In the Federal Republic it was compulsory for one-year-olds until 1975, in the GDR compulsory vaccination was lifted in 1982.

The federal government has about 100 million doses of smallpox vaccine in stock, according to the report.

Of these, two million doses were donated to the World Health Organization (WHO) and stored for them.

The extent to which smallpox vaccination is recommended for contact persons and risk groups is still the subject of technical clarification.

The ministry refers to the risk assessment already published by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), according to which the risk to the health of the general population in Germany is considered to be low based on current knowledge.

According to health authorities, the virus usually causes only mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain and skin rash.

However, monkeypox can also have severe courses, and fatal illnesses are possible in individual cases.

No respiratory spread detected

According to the RKI, the virus usually spreads in rodents and from there it is transmitted to humans.

Human infections are most likely to occur through close physical contact or through so-called smear infections, i.e. through contact with contaminated materials.

The WHO is developing guidelines to contain the spread.

There are fears that the number of cases could continue to rise in the summer months, said the chief WHO adviser on the risk of infection, David Heymann, of the Reuters agency.

However, the outbreak of monkeypox is not comparable to the beginnings of the coronavirus pandemic because the disease is not so easily transmitted.

The Argentine Ministry of Health reports a first suspected case of monkeypox infections, which are actually limited to African countries, in the capital Buenos Aires.

The symptoms would match those of monkeypox, the ministry said on Sunday.

The patient has recently returned from Spain, is in stable condition and is in isolation pending further tests.

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