Health Minister Joe Phaahla has announced that the first case of Monkeypox has been detected in South Africa. He made the announcement at a media briefing on Thursday following the outcomes of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.
He says a 30-year-old man with no travel history was confirmed to have been infected.
“Late yesterday, I received a report from the national health lab service indicating that they have confirmed a lab test of the first case of monkeypox in SA. The patient is a 30-year-old male from Johannesburg who has no travel history – meaning it cannot be attributed to the disease having been acquired elsewhere, so it means that it is with us. So, working with the relevant health authorities the process of contact tracing has started to trace the close contacts of this gentleman.”
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
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease from the same family as smallpox but is much less severe. It occurs mostly in remote parts of central and west African countries, near tropical rainforests.
However, there have been unusually high numbers of people infected with monkeypox outside of Africa this year with no travel links to the region.