The number of reported cases of monkeypox in Germany is increasing. Many cases are mild, but complications can also occur.

More cases of monkeypox in Germany have been reported to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in the past few days. It put the number of people affected on its website on Monday at 21.

The evidence comes from Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony-Anhalt. The RKI was aware of 16 cases of the virus infection on Friday.

According to the RKI, what is special about the cases is that the patients had not previously traveled to countries in Africa where monkeypox is endemic. In addition, many transmissions could apparently have happened in the context of sexual activities. “As far as is known, most of those affected do not become seriously ill,” it said.

The eruption can be limited

Experts had expected the number of cases to continue to rise given the unusual outbreak in several countries with more than 250 confirmed cases to date. Experts suspect that the virus has been circulating unnoticed for a while. They assume that the outbreak can be contained. According to current knowledge, the RKI estimates the risk to the health of the general population in Germany to be low.

Monkeypox is considered a less serious disease compared to smallpox, which has been eradicated since 1980. According to the RKI, the pathogen is transmitted from person to person through close physical contact. “The risk is not limited to people who are sexually active or men who have sex with men. Anyone who has close physical contact with an infectious person is at risk.” According to the RKI, the symptoms, which include a skin rash, usually go away on their own within a few weeks, but can lead to medical complications and, in very rare cases, death in some people.