Monkeypox cases in Switzerland and Liechtenstein crossed the 500 mark on Monday. The Federal Office of Public Health has so far recorded 502 cases since the first notifiable infection.
Since peaking in the last week of July, reported cases have been declining. Last week, the canton of Basel-City recorded the highest incidence with 14.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Zurich (12.7) and Geneva (9.7), as shown by a graphic from the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP).
Geographical distribution of laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases in Switzerland, according to incidence by canton (cases per 100,000 inhabitants). [OFSP]
By far the most affected population group is that of men who have sex with men. The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that monkeypox infections are on the decline worldwide. A finding shared by the FOPH in its assessment of the situation.
The cause of this decline is not yet definitively explained and it remains to be seen whether the trend will continue. Transmission occurs through close human-to-human physical contact. Transmission to other animal species is possible, but has not yet been observed in Switzerland.
Switzerland acquires vaccines
The Confederation will acquire vaccines and medicines against monkeypox. The Finance Delegation of the Federal Chambers has approved an urgent additional credit of 8.65 million francs for this purpose. Parliament will vote on this additional appropriation during the winter session.
Centralized purchasing is essential, because the manufacturers only supply the States. The Confederation wants to acquire 40,000 doses in a targeted manner to combat the spread of the disease. At the same time, the army wants to obtain 60,000 doses of vaccine as a reserve that can also be used in the event of the appearance of other smallpox viruses.
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The first reported case of monkeypox was on May 19. According to the FOPH, monitoring of the disease began on May 21. Since mid-August, the office has only published laboratory-confirmed cases of people residing in Switzerland or in the principality.