Prof. Fabian Leendertz at the One Health Founding Ceremony:

"Human health cannot be viewed in isolation."

Affenpocken unter dem Mikroskop. Copyright: Pixabay
Monkeypox under the microscope. Copyright: Pixabay

Prof. Dr. Fabian Leendertz
Dr. Stephanie Markert
Helmholtz Institute for One Health (HIOH)

We have to take the situation very seriously, but it is still possible to prevent a new pandemic. A worldwide and long-lasting spread as with the SARS-CoV-2 virus is not to be expected. This is partly because monkeypox is transmitted through close physical contact, i.e. mainly through sexual contact or direct contact with the blister contents and scabs of infected persons [1]. This makes transmission much more difficult than with SARS-CoV-2, which is very easily transmitted when breathing, coughing or talking, even over longer distances. Furthermore, the symptoms of an infection with monkeypox are very characteristic. Although typical skin changes such as blister-like rashes on the face or in the genital area can also be mild and patchy, they are still recognisable. It is therefore easy to trace contacts and chains of infection can be interrupted quickly. Finally, a monkeypox pandemic is also unlikely, because there are already drugs and effective vaccines against the virus.

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