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Two monkeypox cases in Berlin, health senator asks for caution


A 2003 electron micrograph shows mature oval monkeypox virus (l) and spherical immature virions (r) from a human skin sample.

Two cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in Berlin. This was announced by the Senate Department for Health on Saturday (May 21, 2022).

The two patients are in stable condition. Investigations into contact persons are currently underway, a press release from the Senate Department for Health stated. Sequencing is expected to reveal whether the virus strain is the West or Central African strain. "It can be assumed that, in the next few days, more infections will be registered."

Health senator urges caution

Berlin's Senator for Health, Ulrike Gote (Green Party), stated that there was no reason to panic, but that there was reason to be cautious, seeing as many scientific findings about the disease were still preliminary. "Experts assume that we do not have to fear a new pandemic. However, we must now act quickly and consistently to detect and contain cases of infection."

Cooperation between health authorities, RKI and Charité

Gote added that the Senate Department for Health was in close exchange with the city's health offices, the Robert Koch Institute, the Charité and the Federal Ministry of Health in order to protect Berliner as best as possible from the monkeypox virus. Prof. Leif Erik Sander, head of infectious diseases at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin, pointed out that the dynamics of the current monkeypox outbreak were unusual and therefore had to be taken very seriously. "We have observed a disproportionate clustering of monkeypox infections among men so far, especially those who had sexual contact with other men."

Virus transmission through close skin contact

Since the infection is transmitted through close skin contact and possibly also via mucosal contact and droplets, Prof. Sander recommends special caution and avoidance of close unprotected contact with unknown persons. "Especially if typical symptoms of the disease exist, contacts should be limited and medical treatment should be sought quickly," Sander said. "The Charité is prepared to treat infected persons and works closely with the RKI and the public health service."

Author: dpa/BerlinOnline/
Publication date: 23 May 2022
Last updated: 23 May 2022

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