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Monkeypox 'not the start of a new pandemic'

May 24, 2022

Germany's health minister has given the "urgent recommendation" of a 21-day isolation period for infected people, though the disease is not being considered the start of a new pandemic.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach says while monkeypox doesn't consitutue a new pandemic it still needs to be taken seriouslyImage: Sina Schuldt/dpa/picture alliance

Health authorities in Germany have given a clearer indication as to the current threat posed by monkeypox and measures to contain the spread of the disease.

In a briefing in Bremen, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said that, according to an initial understanding, the spread of the viral disease did not constitute the beginning of another pandemic.

'Urgent recommendation' of 21 days isolation for infected

"What we are experiencing with monkeypox is not the start of a new pandemic," Lauterbach said, but stressed that, though it may not be a pandemic threat, it should not be taken lightly.

Lauterbach said that, in order to contain the disease in the early stages, he gave an "urgent recommendation" that people infected with monkeypox should isolate for a period of 21 days.

Lauterbach also said that the infection could be controlled by good contact tracing.

Among the misunderstandings Lauterbach clarified was that monkeypox only impacted people who had unprotected sex.

Though sex workers have been more affected so far, Lauterbach said, the disease can also spread to all genders, adults and children.

Germany had ordered up to 40,000 doses of a vaccine approved in the United States for use against monkeypox.

As of Tuesday morning, five cases have been reported to the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

kb/aw (AFP, dpa, Reuters)