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Virologist Norbert Nowotny: Mass vaccination against monkeypox is not necessary

Virologist Norbert Nowotny: Mass vaccination against monkeypox is not necessary

According to virologist Norbert Nowotny, education is more important than widespread vaccination against monkeypox. This is enough for people to contact. However, he also expects more cases to occur in Europe in the future and warns of a more aggressive virus strain in Central Africa.

Italy begins a monkeypox vaccination campaign among the general population. In a PULS 24 interview, virologist Norbert Nowotny was convinced that this was not necessary in Austria. “Because 95 percent of all infections affect homosexual men with frequent changing sexual partners.” Targeted education for this group is far more important than vaccination on a larger scale. If successful, it will be enough to vaccinate people in contact with patients, as is currently done. Austria has a vaccine for this.

Three weeks from infection to disease onset

“The small problem with monkeypox is that the incubation period, the period from infection to disease onset, can be up to three weeks.” So the affected person must remember three weeks before he names the people who can be contacted. “If you vaccinate these people in time, that should be enough.” However, Nowotny fears that the Enlightenment may not be effective enough.

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Vaccine is still very little worldwide

Those who received the classic smallpox vaccination are 85 percent protected, either not infected at all or have a very poor course. The vaccination now available also protects well, but there is not enough vaccine around the world. “Therefore, the vaccine should be used for those who need it,” says the virologist.

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The Central African tribe is noticeably more aggressive

Nowotny is sure that we will also see more cases of monkeypox in our country in the future, because more human cases are also occurring in endemic areas of Africa. Monkeypox wasn’t actually a sexually transmitted disease before, but now it’s a disease. “We have here a West African tribe,” Nowotny explains. This is fortunate, as the mortality rate is only one percent maximum, while the CAR strain is significantly more aggressive.