Cape Town – The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says it has identified the first case of monkeypox in South Africa.
In a statement, NICD said that the case involved a 30-year-old male from Gauteng.
The patient reported no recent travel history.
A case of #monkeypox has been identified in South Africa. The case involves a 30-year-old male residing in the Gauteng province. Monkeypox is rarely fatal. Severe cases may occur in children, pregnant woman and in individuals that are immunocompromised https://t.co/dJ2j2aBGe1 pic.twitter.com/G9XPk0RBgI
— NICD (@nicd_sa) June 23, 2022
Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla confirmed the diagnosis on Thursday morning and said contact tracing of the patient had begun, IOL reported.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection in humans. Since May 2022, monkeypox has been reported in more than 3 000 individuals from several European countries, 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. The cases to date mostly involve individuals that self-identify as men having sex with men. Risk factors include reporting multiple sexual partners. Recent large social events are thought to have served as super spreader events,” said the NICD.
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The disease is transmissible through close contact with the infected person or materials that have been used by the infected person such as linen, clothes and other housing items.
Its symptoms include fever and general flu-like symptoms, followed by the eruption of a blister-like rash on the skin.
NICD said that “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”.
Contact tracing has begun in order to identify any additional monkeypox cases in South Africa, added the statement.
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo