SA records first Monkeypox case

South Africa has recorded the first case of monkeypox. This follows Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla received a report from the National Health Laboratory Services CEO that they have confirmed through laboratory tests the first case of monkeypox in the country.

The patient is a 30-year-old male from Johannesburg who has no travel history. Meaning that we cannot attribute this to having been contracted outside the country. Working with the relevant health authorities, a process of contact tracing has begun.

READ | No more masks for Mzansi

Monkeypox is usually a mild disease manifesting as a blister on the skin. It is usually mild and self-limiting with a fatality rate of 1%. They have reported the disease in African countries such as Nigeria, DRC, CA Republic and Ghana in the early 2000s.

READ MORE | World Immunisation Week | What SA has achieved on immunisation

High numbers dominate the current outbreak in Europe, such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Portugal and France. They have also reported cases in the United States America and Canada. “The NICD is conducting online in service training for our health workers for them to detect the disease so that the laboratory tests can be done. The disease only spread through close droplets. You cannot get it by being in the same room with an infected person. It has been dominant in men who have set with men. The key point is that transmission is through close contact,” said Dr Phaahla.

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