First cases of monkeypox detected in Germany, France, Belgium

First cases of monkeypox detected in Germany, France, Belgium

A case of monkeypox has been detected in Germany for the first time, according to the Army Medical Service. The Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology in Munich detected the virus on Thursday in a patient, after noting characteristic skin changes.

A case of monkeypox has now also been detected in France. A 29-year-old man in the greater Paris area contracted the virus without travelling to a country where it circulates, national health authorities said.

The man has no serious symptoms and is isolating at home, they continued. People with whom he came into contact have been informed and instructed on how to behave to avoid passing on the virus.

Meanwhile, a second case of monkeypox has been detected in Belgium, according to the Belga news agency.

The case was detected in a laboratory in Leuven in a man from Flemish Brabant, a region in the province of Flanders in Belgium, Belga reported, citing a tweet from virologist Marc Van Ranst.

A potential connection between the two confirmed cases needs further assessment, Belga reported, as both men attended the same party. The first case was reported in Antwerp on Thursday.

Health authorities are meeting later on Friday to discuss a Belgian approach to the spread of the virus, the Flemish Health Agency said, according to Belga.

Australia, Italy and Sweden reported cases of the disease on Thursday, with Britain, Spain, Portugal and the United States already dealing with a monkeypox outbreak.

So far, four countries in Africa have reported cases of monkeypox in 2022, namely Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, the WHO told dpa.

The illness can be transmitted from person to person through airborne droplets, close bodily contact or sharing contaminated linens or objects.

The virus usually causes symptoms similar to smallpox. Cases can be mild or severe.

Smallpox has been considered eradicated worldwide since 1980 after a major vaccination campaign.