The Federal Ministry of Health expects further cases of monkeypox in Germany.

The observed infections with the virus, which is primarily native to West Africa, are “events with international spread,” the ministry writes in a status report that it published on Monday.

By Monday afternoon, five infections had been confirmed in Germany, there was one case in Munich, three in Berlin and one in the Ortenau district in Baden-Württemberg.

In Cologne, a man suspected of suffering from monkeypox was isolated on Monday.

Respond quickly to contain global outbreak

Kim Bjorn Becker

Editor in Politics.

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Christian Geinitz

Business correspondent in Berlin

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According to the ministry, 130 confirmed and suspected cases are registered worldwide.

"Currently, the risk exposures seem to be mainly sexual contacts between men," writes the ministry.

The infections that became known in Germany went back to “party events” on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria and in Berlin, among other places, at which sexual acts had occurred.

So far, the West African variant of the monkeypox virus has been detected in Europe.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) warned of the latest development.

"The global outbreak of monkeypox infections is so unusual that we have concerns about whether it will unfold like previous monkeypox outbreaks," Lauterbach said Monday on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva.

You have to react quickly and hard now to contain a global outbreak.

This Tuesday he wants to present concrete recommendations, for example on possible quarantine measures.

The British health authority has been recommending a three-week quarantine for close contacts of infected people since Monday.

It is highly likely to be infected if you live in the same household with a sick person, have had sexual intercourse with such a person or have changed their bed linen without protective clothing, according to a statement.

This group should receive a protective vaccination against smallpox.

In Germany, too, a smallpox vaccination could be recommended to individuals.

"Vaccination of the general population is not under discussion here," said Lauterbach.

Rather, vaccination recommendations for people who are particularly at risk are being considered.

According to the ministry, the smallpox vaccine may also protect against monkeypox.

Vaccination was compulsory for one-year-olds in West Germany until 1975, and compulsory vaccination was lifted in East Germany in 1982.

According to the ministry, 100 million doses of the smallpox vaccine are stored in Germany.

The President of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, did not rule out further smallpox vaccinations in Germany on Monday.

"If the virus spreads quickly, the question arises as to whether smallpox vaccination should be offered for the unvaccinated," Reinhardt told the FAZ on Monday contagious.” The assumption is that the disease will continue to spread.

"Those who are vaccinated against smallpox probably have some form of immunity to monkeypox," Reinhardt said.

How strong the protection is remains to be seen.

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