Active duty US soldier stationed in Germany is the first military case of monkeypox
An active duty US soldier based in Germany has been identified as the Army’s first known case of monkeypox.
The soldier – who has not been named – tested positive for the tropical disease at the base in Stuttgart, in the southwestern region of the country where around 23,000 troops are stationed, CNN reported.
Military officials have now quarantined the individual in their quarters until the symptoms resolve.
Revealing the case on Friday, Navy Captain William Speaks said: ‘We can confirm that a member of the Stuttgart military community guard recently tested positive for monkeypox.
“The individual was seen and treated at the army health clinic in Stuttgart and is currently in isolation.”
It comes as the number of monkeypox cases in America rose to 49 on Friday, with Rhode Island becoming the fifteenth state to report a case of the disease.
A US soldier based at US Army Garrison Base Stuttgart in Germany (pictured) has contracted monkeypox, the first known case of the disease in the military.
The American is currently quarantined inside the army health clinic in Stuttgart (pictured)
A total of 49 monkeypox cases have now been recorded in 15 states across America and Washington DC. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most cases are in people who recently returned from overseas.
At the base in Stuttgart, German authorities have been notified of the case and contact tracing is ongoing.
Speaks added: “Public health officials have determined that the risk to the general population is very low.
“The case in Stuttgart is that of the West African strain, which is generally mild and has limited human-to-human transmission.”
Medical literature indicates that people infected with monkeypox experience flu-like symptoms within the first 21 days of infection with the virus, followed by a rash that appears on the face before spreading to the rest of the body.
But this is rarely seen in the current outbreak, with patients instead seeing rashes appear on the genital areas before experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Germany has detected 165 cases of monkeypox so far, according to local officials, as the disease has spread to dozens of countries in recent months.
In a Friday briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said monkeypox is transmitted through physical contact with symptomatic patients and by touching their clothing and bedding.
But attempting to determine whether face masks are necessary to avoid catching the rash-causing virus, the epidemiologist explained that the rash-causing virus would not “linger in the air” like Covid.
“The disease is not spread through casual conversations, passing other people in a grocery store, or touching things like doorknobs,” she said. “All of the cases we’ve seen so far in this outbreak have been linked to direct contact.”
During the conference, health officials also called on Americans with any sexually transmitted infection — including syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia — to get tested for monkeypox.
Dr Rochelle Walensky (left), who heads the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said monkeypox can only spread through the air through prolonged face-to-face contact. Dr Jennifer McQuiston (right), who is leading the agency’s response, said most of the cases were in people who had recently traveled
Authorities urge gay and bisexual men to be aware of new lesions, rashes or scabs and to get in touch with a sexual health clinic
They warned that many patients were suffering from rashes and sores on their genitals and anus that looked like STIs. Several cases of co-infection with monkeypox and a sexually transmitted disease have also been recorded.
Health officials also revealed they had distributed more than 1,400 vaccines against the virus to states from their stockpile of more than a million doses. Another 300,000 doses are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
But some experts have raised concerns that the country may not have enough bites because if the outbreak becomes widespread there may not be enough to bite the whole country.
America recorded eight cases of the virus between Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning, as the scale of the outbreak across the country continues to grow.
About three in four cases are currently linked to international travel, including to Europe, while others are linked to someone who had close contact with a known case.
But there are “several” patients in multiple states who have tested positive despite not having traveled recently or been in contact with a known case.
Dr Jennifer McQuiston, who is leading the CDC’s response to the outbreak, said it’s likely they picked up the infection from someone who had recently traveled, but that first case hasn’t yet been spotted.
She added: ‘I can tell you right now we don’t have an area that seems to have an urban outbreak. There is not a single area where there seems to be a lot of community transmission.
“But that could change. We need to make sure our tests are increasing and ready to catch this when it happens.
The infection often starts as small bumps that crust over and are contagious
America has performed just 300 tests for orthopox viruses – the family that includes monkeypox – since the outbreak began, despite more than 69 labs available to take thousands of swabs a day.
Health officials are asking states to send more samples to labs, but states complain that the process is “too complicated” because after going to those labs, the swabs must be sent to the CDC for confirmation.
New York reported two new cases of monkeypox yesterday, while Illinois and Florida reported one and Rhode Island revealed its first infection which they say may be “linked to a trip to Massachusetts.”
Hawaii also reported its third case in a week in a person who had not traveled recently, prompting authorities to warn that the tropical disease could spread undetected in the archipelago.