The number of registered monkeypox cases in Berlin has continued to rise.
As of Monday, 317 laboratory-confirmed infections were known in the capital, 23 patients were in the hospital, as reported by the Senate Department for Science, Health, Care and Equality in an online overview. Before the weekend on Friday, there had been 259 confirmed cases, according to the report.
Nationwide, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 469 detections of monkeypox on Tuesday. Fourteen states reported cases of the actually rare virus disease, in Berlin particularly many.
"Since infection is likely to occur via mucosal contact, close physical/sexual contact with changing or unfamiliar people should also be avoided if possible as a precaution," advises the Berlin health administration. Safer sex rules such as the use of condoms should be observed, it said.
Monkeypox is considered a less severe disease compared to smallpox, which has been eradicated since 1980. According to the RKI, the pathogen is usually transmitted from person to person through close physical contact. Experts believe that the outbreak can be limited. The risk to the general population is still considered low.
Symptoms - including fever and skin rash - usually disappear on their own within a few weeks, but can lead to medical complications and, in very rare cases, death in some people.
The Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) recommends vaccination for certain risk groups and people who have had close contact with infected people. The panel sees an increased risk of infection among men who have same-sex sexual contact with changing partners. Precautionary vaccination may also be considered for personnel of special laboratories.
Berlin's health senator Ulrike Gote (Greens) had recently emphasized that risk groups in the capital should be able to be vaccinated as quickly as possible. Legal and organizational issues are currently being clarified.
Image by Gerd Altmann