Health Department confirms second case of monkeypox in SA

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, has called for vigilance as the country records another positive case of monkeypox disease.

The second patient is a 32-year-old male from Cape Town in the Western Cape who has no travel history, which suggests that there is a high possibility of local transmission.

In a statement, the Health Department says although monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe illness, the situation is slowly evolving with cases being recorded.

Phaahla has urged the public to observe good hygiene practices and other preventative measures which proved to be effective against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in order to prevent the spread of this virus.

Linkage under probe

The source and linkage of cases remain under investigation.

The department says it is working together with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) to constantly assess the risk for local transmission, in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) international health regulations.

“Health officials will continue with contact tracing while closely monitoring the situation and alert clinicians on symptoms to look for, and if the clinical picture fits with monkeypox, they are urged to complete case investigation form and send samples for testing.”

Travel guides

While the WHO has not recommended any travel restrictions, Phaahla says it is important for travellers to endemic countries to alert health officials of the situation to enable them to provide guidance for case detection and management.

Members of the public who experience symptoms similar to monkeypox are urged to report to their nearest healthcare facility for early detection and successful treatment.

“Port health officials continue with multi-layered screening measures which include visual observation, temperature screening, and completion and analysis of travellers’ health questionnaire when entering the country through ports of entry (airports, border gates, and sea ports) for early detection and successful treatment. The department will keep the country abreast on the progress of contact tracing and surveillance activities.”

SA records first case of monkeypox: