Austria blamed for Bavaria’s Covid-19 surge

A district administrator in a heavily hit region in German state of Bavaria has said Austria is partly to blame for the rise in infections.

Austria blamed for Bavaria’s Covid-19 surge
Photo: DPA

The region of Rottal-Inn is now one of the worst hit areas for new coronavirus infections, resulting in the implementation of significant lockdown restrictions. 

The region, roughly 60 kilometres east of Munich, sits on the Austrian border – which a local politician has said is one of the primary reasons for the skyrocketing infection rates. 

The region has recorded 239.5 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants over the past seven days. As reported by the Passauer Neue Presse on Tuesday, this is the highest region in Germany per inhabitants. 

The district administrator of the Rottal-Inn district, Michael Fahmüller, told the media that Austria was at least in part responsible for the increase.  

“You have to state that openly,” Fahmüller said. 

Fahmüller pointed out that coronavirus measures have been much more relaxed in Austria than they have been in Bavaria in recent weeks. 

The majority of Austria is classed as a risk zone by Germany so people visiting Bavaria face restrictions including quarantine. On Monday, Bavarian officials urged people in Austria not to cross the border unless they have an essential reason to do so.

Rottal-Inn shares a border with Upper Austria, the Austrian state with the highest count of new infections from Sunday to Monday. 

UPDATED: Where are Austria's coronavirus hotspots?

Over the past seven days, Upper Austria has had the third highest number of new infections per capita, after Salzburg and Tirol. 

Rottal-Inn became one of only two German regions – alongside fellow border area Berchtesgadener Land – to be forced into lockdown. 

Since Tuesday, October 27th, people are only allowed to leave their apartment to work, go shopping or to exercise. 

Schools and day care centres have been closed, while restaurants can only offer take away service. Unlike in the Spring, shops remain open. 

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EXPLAINED: How to register for the monkeypox vaccine in Vienna

Austria's capital city Vienna has begun registration appointments for those who want to get a monkeypox vaccine. Here's what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: How to register for the monkeypox vaccine in Vienna

As of September 9th, people can make reservations for monkeypox vaccination in Vienna, authorities announced. It is possible to register for the vaccine using the health service line by calling 1450 or via the Impfservice website.

The City of Vienna has said the pre-registration is needed because all planning will be done through a central system due to a shortage of vaccines.

“Please understand that due to the vaccine shortage, we cannot offer preventive monkeypox vaccination to everyone interested. We can use the reservation platform to quickly allocate available appointments and contact interested parties as soon as there are more vaccines”, the authorities said.

After the registration, people will be contacted to book appointments on September 14th. The first available date will be September 19th.

READ ALSO: Monkeypox in Austria: What causes it and is it serious?

Who should be vaccinated against monkeypox?

Vaccination of the general population is currently not recommended.

Preventive vaccination is only offered to health care workers with a very high risk of exposure to people with monkeypox (designated monkeypox departments/outpatient clinics/offices) and persons with individual risk behaviour (persons with frequently changing sexual contacts), the City of Vienna said.

The health authorities in Vienna also have a specific information sheet in English with more information on the disease.

Monkeypox is a notifiable disease caused by a virus closely related to the smallpox virus and which can cause a condition similar to smallpox but rarely deadly. People with immunodeficiencies, pregnant women and children are at risk of more severe symptoms.

The virus spreads from person to person through contact with infectious skin lesions, via air droplets through speaking, coughing, sneezing, or other body fluids, and when having prolonged and close physical contact, e.g. through sexual intercourse.

READ ALSO: Austria recommends 4th Covid vaccine dose for everyone over 12

Usually, the first symptoms show up 5 to 14 days (at the latest, 21 days) after exposure. These include fever, general exhaustion, headaches, muscle and body aches, gastrointestinal problems and frequently painfully swollen lymph nodes.

“If you have symptoms and have had contact with someone with monkeypox, you must self-isolate at once and call 1450. If you have a confirmed monkeypox infection, you need to stay in self-isolation until the last crust has fallen off”, the Austrian authorities added.