After the occurrence of the first cases of monkeypox in Germany, specialists do not see a new pandemic looming.
“The danger situation is low because the virus is only passed on through close physical contact, i.e. via body fluids or crusts, and not through droplet infection such as sneezing, coughing or speaking”.
The corona-related vigilance will lead to the rapid identification of contact persons of infected people. There is “probably no new epidemic coming our way,” said Tobias Tenenbaum, chairman of the German Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases, of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”.
The President of the Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ), Thomas Fischbach, told the “NOZ” that the monkeypox virus was “far less contagious than Corona” and was almost only transmitted through “close physical contact and bodily fluids”.
Children who, at least according to data from Africa, have a higher mortality rate are not among those with an increased risk of infection.
Infectiologist Tenenbaum also does not expect a large spread among children and adolescents: “It is extremely unlikely that in the current situation in Europe children will be infected with monkeypox.”
There are also no known cases “in which monkeypox has spread within families in Europe”. “Therefore, parents don’t need to worry at the moment.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wants to comment on the course of action after the occurrence of the first cases of monkeypox in Germany on the sidelines of the German Doctors’ Day in Bremen.
Doctor President Klaus Reinhardt and President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, will also attend the press conference.
awareness campaign required
The opposition Union parliamentary group called on Lauterbach to launch an education campaign.
“Minister Lauterbach must inform the population about the risks of monkeypox through a detailed communication offensive in order to prevent unnecessary scaremongering,” said health politician Stephan Pilsinger (CSU) to the editorial network Germany (RND/Tuesday).
The German Hospital Society (DKG) warned to be vigilant. “Corona has taught us to take a very close look at developments around the world. Because in a globalized world, not only goods spread quickly, but also diseases,” said Gerald Gaß, head of the association, to the RND.
“But according to the current state of knowledge, we do not have to fear a monkeypox pandemic.”
At the beginning of May, a monkeypox case was detected in Great Britain – according to experts, the pathogen was probably already circulating in many countries.
The first case in Germany was reported from Bavaria, but there have now also been reports from other federal states such as Berlin, Saxony-Anhalt and Baden-Württemberg.
Usually only mild symptoms
The virus usually causes only mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain and skin rash. However, monkeypox can also have severe courses, in individual cases fatal diseases are possible.
The consequences of surviving an infection can be scarring and, rarely, blindness.