A case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Munich. Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek pointed this out on Friday. The patient comes from Brazil and is already isolated in the Munich Clinic Schwabing.
According to the Robert Koch Institute ( RKI ), this is the first monkeypox case in Germany. The RKI and the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety ( LGL ) currently consider the general risk of infection for the population in Bavaria to be low.
Holetschek emphasized: “The Bavarian Ministry of Health is in close contact with the clinic and the RKI . The health department of the city of Munich is currently identifying further close contacts. These are explained in detail and informed about possible symptoms, hygiene measures and transmission routes. The LGL Infectious Diseases Task Force is also already involved. All health authorities in Bavaria are still being informed in detail today.”
After the man noticed the first symptoms, he immediately went to a medical examination on his own. The specific diagnosis was initiated immediately and the health department was informed based on the suspicion of the now typical symptoms. A special PCR test carried out by the Bundeswehr confirmed that the patient was infected with the virus. Whether it is the West or Central African strain of the virus will be determined by ongoing sequencing by the middle of next week.
It is a 26-year-old man who entered Germany from Portugal via Spain and has been in Munich for about a week. Before arriving in Munich he was in Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.
Munich’s health officer Beatrix Zurek explained: “Once we became aware of the suspected case through the report from the practice, we immediately contacted the person concerned and investigated close contacts, as well as taking further measures such as isolating the patient. The further investigations and measures of the health department of the City of Munich are taking place in close coordination with the Munich Clinic, the Tropical Institute of the LMU and with experts at state and federal level.
The care takes place isolated from the rest of the clinic operations in the infectiology department of the Munich Clinic Schwabing. The disease is notifiable. The virus has currently been detected in several countries and suspected cases are being checked. So far, there have been reports and suspected cases on three continents.
Prof. Christian Weidner , President of the LGL , emphasized: “In principle, infection from person to person is possible, but usually only probable with intensive physical contact. Medical staff in particular should nevertheless comply with the usual protective measures against droplet and smear infections when they come into contact with suspected cases or infected people.
Prof. Weidner added: “In the case of an infection with the monkeypox virus, it can take 7 to 21 days for the first symptoms to appear. Affected people then suffer from fever, headache, muscle and back pain, swelling of the lymph nodes and a large-scale skin rash can also occur. The lesions usually start on the face, resemble a smallpox rash, and then spread further down the body.”
Prof. Clemens Wendtner , chief physician at Schwabing’s infectiology department, explained: “The young man is doing well – he has minor symptoms with slight swallowing difficulties and an elevated temperature. The pustules typical of the disease trigger a corresponding itching. He currently does not require any special medication. A special preparation, which has been approved for treatment in the EU since the beginning of 2022, is procured preventively from the hospital pharmacy of the Munich clinic.
Prof. Wendtner added: “The young man went to medical care in a very responsible manner immediately after the onset of symptoms in order to protect others from infection. That’s why he’s still staying with us, as we assume he’ll be infectious for three to four weeks.”
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