South Africa Confirms Five Cases Of Monkeypox; Here’s What You Need To Know About The Rare Disease

South Africa has reported five laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox. Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Wednesday said that the patients were men between the ages of 30 and 39 with no history of travel. Of these, two are still hospitalised, two have been discharged and one died on Monday in a hospital. Read on to know more about monkeypox.
South Africa Confirms Five Cases Of Monkeypox

South Africa Confirms Five Cases Of Monkeypox

South Africa has five laboratory-confirmed cases including one death of monkeypox. The country is on high alert after the outbreak in May. Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Wednesday said that all five patients diagnosed with monkeypox were from KwaZulu-Natal Province and Gauteng Province. The patients were men between the ages of 30 and 39 with no history of travel.
Of these five people, two remain hospitalized, two have been discharged, and one died on Monday in a hospital in Johannesburg. Phaahla said, “All five cases were classified as severe cases as per the World Health Organization (WHO) definition requiring hospitalization. Since the beginning of 2024, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has received 12 Mpox test requests, with three testing positive. The other two cases were diagnosed by private laboratories.
“Guidelines have been updated and shared widely across networks of healthcare workers using various platforms. Phaahla also said that the outbreak response team, consisting of experts from various government sectors, the WHO, and other stakeholders, has embarked on contact tracing and case finding in the affected provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Fabian Ndenzako, a doctor with the WHO in South Africa, said they are working with the South African government to provide medicine for those infected with Mpox. A total of 10 doses of vaccine have been packaged in Geneva, Switzerland, and are awaiting paperwork to be processed and then shipped to South Africa.
South Africa reported five cases of monkeypox in 2022 and no cases were reported in 2023.
Mpox, also known as monkeypox is a viral disease that’s caused by the monkeypox virus. It is a zoonotic disease and hence it can spread from animal to humans. It was first discovered in monkeys and hence, the name monkeypox.

Symptoms of Mpox

After you’re infected with the virus, it might take a few days to a few weeks for the signs to appear. Here, take a look at some of the signs and symptoms of monkeypox.
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle aches
  • Rash
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
The rash usually starts to show as flat and red bumps but they can be painful. These eventually turn into blisters with pus. You might also notice sores on your mouth, face, hands, feet, penis, vagina or anus.
Mpox usually causes painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes and fever. While most people recover from the condition, however, some people might get very sick. The virus spreads from person to person through touch, kissing or sex. However, from animals, it usually spreads when hunting, skinning, or cooking them. It can also spread from contaminated sheets, clothes or needles and from infected pregnant mothers to their unborn babies.

Ways to prevent Mpox

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of mpox is vaccination. If you think you have an increased risk of developing the condition, make sure to get vaccinated as this helps to prevent the spread. Other ways to prevent the spread of the diseases include reducing human contact with infected animals and taking steps that help to prevent person-to-person spread.
(With inputs from IANS)
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