South Africa on Tuesday confirmed its second case of monkeypox, prompting the Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla to call for vigilance.
“The second patient is a 32-year-old male from Cape Town, in the Western Cape Province, who has no travel history, which suggests that there a high possibility of local transmission,” said the department of health.
“Although, monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe illness, but the situation is slowly evolving with cases being recorded.
“Therefore, Minister Phaahla urges 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.”
The source and linkage of cases remain under investigation.
The department said it was working together with the NICD to constantly assess the risk for local transmission in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) in line with the International Health Regulations.”
The health officials will continue with contact tracing while closely monitoring the situation and alert clinicians on symptoms to look for, and if clinical picture fits with monkeypox, they are urged to complete case investigation form and send samples to testing.
While, the WHO has not recommended any travel restrictions, Dr. Phaahla insists it is important for travellers to endemic countries to alert health officials on 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 or facility for early detection and successful treatment,” said the department.
“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.”