South Africa Records a Case of Mpox Disease; Nationwide Vigilance Urged



DLHA Staff Writer

South Africa map showing Guateng province

South Africa map showing Guateng province. Click on image to enlarge.



FRIDAY, May 17, 2024. Dr Joe Phaahla, South Africa’s Minister of Health, is urging the public to be vigilant as the country reported a laboratory-confirmed case of Mpox (monkey pox) disease.


The case, involves a 35-year-old male, who resides in the Gauteng and tested positive on 9 May 2024.


The first test was conducted by Lancet Laboratory, and was later confirmed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), which immediately notified the department of Health


The preliminary investigation and case findings report show that the patient has no recent travel history to countries experiencing an outbreak of the disease. 


Both the National and Gauteng Departments of Health have been actively involved and are managing the situation as per protocol and national guidelines. Contact tracing is continuing to identify any additional linked cases of Mpox in South Africa. 


What is Mpox?


Mpox is a rare viral infectious disease in humans caused by the monkey pox virus (MPXV). It has low moderately transmissible from person to person, and has increased in global public health significance.


Mpox can cause a fever, general flu-like symptoms, enlarged lymph nodes and eruption of a blister-like rash on the skin. 


Mpox is rarely fatal and cases typically resolve within two to four weeks. Hospital treatment is not always needed as most people with Mpox fully recover, but some get very sick.


According to the department, 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. 


Since 2023, there has been an ongoing Mpox outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) primarily due to a distinct MPXV clade I. 


The clade I, the department said, is characterised by its high virulence and has a higher fatality rate than the global outbreak-associated clade II. “Additionally, transmission of MPXV clade I is mostly observed among heterosexual individuals through sexual transmission, particularly among female sex workers.” 


Meanwhile, a new variant of the MPXV, named “clade 1b”, emerged from 14 to 20 April 2024 in Kamituga, a mining enclave within the DRC. “This variant exhibits heightened transmissibility, mainly through sexual contact, raising concerns about its potential to cause a pandemic.”


The last reported cases of Mpox in South Africa were in August 2022.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends increasing vigilance for cases with contact tracing and monitoring of laboratory-confirmed cases. 


“Isolation of confirmed cases allows for the prevention of transmission and interruption of the cycle of transmission. Circulation of the MPXV in humans may be eliminated through this classic containment approach. Mass vaccination against the MPXV is not currently recommended.”


Source: South Africa Government News Agency



Published: May 17, 2024

© 2024. Datelinehealth Africa Inc. All rights reserved.

Permission is given to copy, use and share content for non-commercial purposes without alteration or modification and subject to attribution as to source.





DATELINEHEALTH AFRICA INC., is a digital publisher for informational and educational purposes and does not offer personal medical care and advice. If you have a medical problem needing routine or emergency attention, call your doctor or local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or the nearest hospital. You should consult your professional healthcare provider before starting any nutrition, diet, exercise, fitness, medical or wellness program mentioned or referenced in the DatelinehealthAfrica website. Click here for more disclaimer notice.

Untitled Document