An increase in monkeypox cases is expected for Germany. But infectiologists and pediatricians say there is no new pandemic. The opposition is demanding more action from the federal government.

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. through body fluids or crusts, and not through droplet infection such as sneezing, coughing or speaking,” said Tobias Tenenbaum, Chairman of the German Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases, the “Neue Osnabrücker Newspaper”. The corona-related vigilance will lead to the rapid identification of contact persons of infected people. “Probably no new epidemic is coming our way”.

Monkeypox “far less contagious than Corona”

The President of the Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ), Thomas Fischbach, told the “NOZ” that the monkeypox virus is “far less contagious than Corona” and is almost only transmitted through “close physical contact and body 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 do not need to worry at the moment.”

Union faction calls for clarification

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.

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).

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 the head of the association, Gerald Gass, to the RND. “But according to the current state of knowledge, we don’t have to fear a monkeypox pandemic.”

Mostly mild symptoms

At the beginning of May, a case of monkeypox was detected in Great Britain – according to experts, the pathogen was already circulating in many countries. The first case in Germany was reported from Bavaria, and there have now also been reports from other federal states such as Berlin, Saxony-Anhalt and Baden-Württemberg.

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.