SA records second case of Monkeypox

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has confirmed the country’s second case of Monkeypox.

The latest case was identified through laboratory testing.

In a statement, the NICD said the case involves a 32-year-old male residing in the Western Cape.

“He reports no recent travel history. Contact tracing has commenced in order to identify any other related cases of Monkeypox in South Africa. Isolation of confirmed cases allows for the prevention of transmission and interruption of the cycle of transmission. Currently, it is not known if the first and second cases are linked,” the institute said on Tuesday.

The second case follows the first case reported last week, involving a 30-year-old male from Johannesburg, Gauteng, who had no travel history.

Since May, over 4 000 cases of the virus have been confirmed in several European countries and other parts of the world. These include the USA, Canada, Australia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

“This is the first multi-country outbreak of Monkeypox and is already the largest outbreak of Monkeypox recorded. Person-to-person transmission involves close contact with an infected person or materials that have been contaminated by an infected person.

“Although the data indicates that persons with multiple sexual partners present an increased risk of acquiring Monkeypox, any persons can acquire the virus if they have had close contact with an infected person. The virus is not highly transmissible and close physical contact is required for transmission.”

Monkeypox presents with an acute illness characterised by fever and general flu-like symptoms, followed by the eruption of a blister-like rash on the skin. The disease is rarely fatal and cases typically resolve within two to four weeks. Most cases do not require hospital treatment. Prevention of infection hinges on the isolation of cases until fully recovered. The risk to the general population is considered low, given the low transmissibility of the virus.

As per WHO recommendations, the NICD will continue increasing vigilance for cases with contact tracing and monitoring of laboratory-confirmed cases.

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) says the virus is transmitted through person-to-person close, direct contact with infected person/s or contaminated materials (e.g. bed linen, clothes and other household items).

The virus is said to be not highly transmissible, unlike the influenza or SARS-CoV-2 virus. Symptoms to look out for are acute illness typified by fever, general flu-like symptoms, followed by blister-like rash on the skin and/or swelling of the lymph nodes. –SAnews.gov.za

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