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First case of a child in Germany: four-year-old from Pforzheim infected with monkeypox

🕒 Last updated: Aug 8, 23:02 GMT

A four-year-old from Pforzheim has contracted monkeypox. It is the first case of a child in Germany. When it comes to quarantine, the local health department follows a clear line. There was speculation on the social network Twitter on Saturday, followed by official confirmation on Monday afternoon: a four-year-old girl was infected with monkeypox in Pforzheim. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), this is the first case of monkeypox in a child in Germany.

“The infection was caused by a close contact in the household,” said a spokesman for the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Health. “The child has not developed any symptoms of the disease so far.” The child was therefore examined as a precaution after a case became known in the household. A throat swab then showed that the child was infected.

“Another household member is under health surveillance,” the spokesman continued. There should therefore be no other close contacts of the child who tested positive outside of the household. A total of 127 monkeypox cases had been reported in Baden-Württemberg by Monday afternoon, according to the RKI there are 2,916 nationwide.

Quarantine for those affected and household members

Angelika Edwards says there have already been three cases of monkeypox in Pforzheim. But these were adults, explains the deputy head of the Pforzheim/Enzkreis health department. “Children have really only rarely been affected so far.”

A clear line is being followed during quarantine: three weeks are set for those affected and close household members. In addition, one asks about the beginning of the symptoms and contact persons. As a result, the chances of preventing other people from being infected by the person concerned are very good. In general, however, emphasizes Edwards, further cases of monkeypox can also be expected in Germany. Transmission requires “really close physical contact”, which could also be hugs.

Regardless of this case, the RKI says in its general assessment of monkeypox cases: “According to current knowledge, transmission in this outbreak occurs primarily in the context of sexual activities, currently especially in men who have sexual contact with other men.” There are only seven female cases in Germany.

Two cases in young people from Stuttgart and Erfurt have become known – and now with the case from Pforzheim, for the first time, the case of a child. The RKI recently explained the danger: “As far as is known, most of those affected do not become seriously ill.”

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