What should I know about monkeypox virus?

The pathogens that cause monkeypox originally come from West and Central Africa. Countries such as Germany, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Czech Republic, the USA and Canada have now seen an increase in infections.

The disease is actually transmitted mainly by rodents such as rats and squirrels and is only called monkeypox because a virologist first detected the virus in a monkey in the 1950s.

In the meantime, more and more cases of the disease have been detected in humans. So far, monkeypox is a rare disease for humans, which usually runs a mild course.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Symptoms include a rash typical of monkeypox, which usually starts on the face and then spreads to the whole body.

The skin lesions go through different stages, similar to chickenpox, and at the end the crusts fall off. Fever and swelling of the lymph nodes are usually also present. If you notice these symptoms, it makes sense to see a doctor.

Caution: The crusts that fall off are also infectious. Skin scars may remain. In rare cases, eye infections can occur, possibly resulting in blindness. If you have been vaccinated against smallpox (compulsory vaccination ended in Germany in the 1980s), you are immune.

Do I have to be quarantined if I have monkeypox?

In Germany there is a quarantine recommendation, in Belgium there is already a quarantine obligation in case of illness (currently 21 days). Transmission can occur from human to human and from animal to human. In the case of human-to-human transmission, it is not via droplet infection like Corona, but through close skin contact or bodily fluids, so it can also be transmitted sexually.

At present, the West African variant is rampant, with an extremely low risk of a fatal outcome. Immunosuppressed people are particularly at risk here. Viral infections are treated symptomatically. Boosting the immune system with vitamin D3, K2-MK7, magnesium citrate and possibly additional selenium, zinc and vitamin C ester is recommended in any case.

Is there a medicine against monkeypox?

Hand hygiene is very important. Tecovirimat is available as a medicine, and Imvanex, the vaccine approved for monkeypox, is available as a vaccine, which protects promptly even after exposure (illness) has already occurred.