Baden-Württemberg: First case of monkeypox confirmed in Baden-Württemberg

The first German case was in Bavaria.

Baden-Württemberg: First case of monkeypox confirmed in Baden-Württemberg

The first German case was in Bavaria. Now a case of monkeypox has also been detected in the southwest. Health Minister Lucha does not see any major danger for the time being. But authorities should be careful.

Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - The first case of monkeypox has been detected in Baden-Württemberg. A patient from the Ortenau district with a corresponding infection has been treated as an inpatient at the University Hospital in Freiburg since Sunday evening, the Ministry of Health in Stuttgart announced on Monday. The patient is a travel returnee from Spain, he has a fever, cough and shows typical skin changes. However, his condition is stable and he is in isolation.

The general risk of infection for the population in Baden-Württemberg is currently assessed as low by the state health department, said Health Minister Manne Lucha on the case of infection. Nevertheless, one should not underestimate the monkeypox virus. "We are therefore continuing to follow the situation in the state very closely. The health authorities in Baden-Württemberg have already been informed and are correspondingly sensitized," said the Green politician.

The health department of the district of Ortenau is therefore investigating another suspected case and is currently trying to understand the contact persons of the patient. If necessary, the authority would issue quarantine orders, it said. The patient was diagnosed by PCR analysis. Genome sequencing at the Institute for Virology at the University Hospital in Freiburg is intended to determine whether the virus strain is from West or Central Africa. The result should be available in the coming days.

In the course of the increased attention to the disease, cases of monkeypox, which actually occurs rarely, are being detected in more and more countries. The first case in Germany was reported from Bavaria. The virus was detected in a patient last Thursday, as the Institute for Microbiology announced on Friday in Munich. The patient had characteristic skin changes. Cases had previously been reported from numerous other countries such as Great Britain, Spain, Sweden and the USA.

According to experts, people who have sexual contact with many different people are most at risk of infection. The virus is mainly transmitted via direct contact or contact with contaminated materials. Transmission via droplets in the air is also possible over shorter distances - which is probably very rare.

Smallpox has been considered eradicated worldwide since 1980, and no vaccinations have been given since then. The disease is named monkeypox after the pathogen was first detected in monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958. Experts suspect that the virus actually circulates in squirrels and rodents, while monkeys and humans are considered false hosts.


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