After more than half a year without evidence of Mpox (formerly monkeypox), individual infections with the virus have reappeared in Germany. In the past few weeks, three cases have been reported in Berlin, the responsible state office for health and social affairs (Lageso) in the capital said when asked by the dpa. “There are currently no signs that a major infection is imminent, although isolated cases can always be expected,” it added.

According to a database of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), this is the first and only evidence of the infectious disease in Germany since the end of January. Together with the cases from the beginning of the year, 16 Mpox cases have been recorded nationwide for 2023, 13 of them in Berlin.

“Despite the quiet epidemiological situation in large parts of the world for months, the RKI expected that new cases could also occur in Germany,” writes the institute on its website. According to the RKI experts, a limited outbreak is also possible again. But a sharp increase in the number of cases like 2022 is currently not expected.

As of August 10, the European disease control agency ECDC reported 65 people affected in the previous four weeks, including 40 in Portugal and 10 in Great Britain.

Also vaccinated among the infected

According to Lageso, direct connections between the three Mpox cases reported in Berlin could not be determined. However, two of those affected reported sexual contacts during Christopher Street Day in Berlin. According to the authorities, one of the infected was fully vaccinated against Mpox, another affected person had received one of two recommended doses.

According to Lageso, infections despite vaccination are “not uncommon”. The authority gives an estimated vaccination effectiveness of the double Mpox vaccination of 66 percent. This means that vaccinations greatly reduce the likelihood of contracting the disease. However, this is not completely ruled out. The RKI is calling on people at risk of infection who have not yet been vaccinated against Mpox or have been incompletely vaccinated to do so.

The viral disease Mpox – as the WHO has been calling the disease for some time – was practically only known from a few African countries until the beginning of 2022. In the spring, doctors suddenly discovered numerous cases in other countries.

As with Corona, the WHO declared an international health emergency, which ended in May 2023 after the number of cases had dropped significantly. A total of around 3,700 cases have been reported in Germany so far. The most noticeable symptom are blisters and pustules on the skin. Mpox viruses are transmitted through close physical contact. According to the WHO, men who have sex with men were predominantly affected.