Home South African Mpox infections expected to increase as SA cases rise to 20

Mpox infections expected to increase as SA cases rise to 20

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Health authorities are closely monitoring the Mpox outbreak in South Africa and cases are expected to rise as contact tracing efforts intensify.

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HEALTH authorities are closely monitoring the Mpox outbreak in South Africa and cases are expected to rise as contact tracing efforts intensify.

This follows the recent update that four additional infections have been reported in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Since the outbreak began in May 2024, the total number of laboratory-confirmed Mpox cases in the country has now reached 20.

According to the Department of Health’s data, all of these cases involve male patients aged between 17 and 43 years old.

The recent infections include a 17-year-old man from Hillbrow in Johannesburg, a 37-year-old individual from Pretoria East, a 29-year-old resident of the West Rand, and a 19-year-old patient from Durban.

Of the 20 cases, 10 were recorded in Gauteng, nine in KZN and one in the Western Cape. Despite the rising number of cases, the death toll remains at three since the initial outbreak.

According to the national Department of Health, outbreak response teams have been activated for the newly diagnosed Mpox cases.

The department added that an additional batch of Mpox-specific treatment is expected to arrive in the country within the next few weeks.

It noted that “cases are also expected to rise due to intensified contact tracing, risk communication and community engagement activities in the affected communities”.

It said further that the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has received over 130 test requests since the outbreak began.

The department urged all contacts of confirmed and suspected cases to co-operate with health workers during contact tracing, screening and the 21-day monitoring period, “to ensure that no case is left undetected”.

It pointed out that contact tracing is a critical tool to break local transmission chains and control the outbreak.

The department advised all individuals with suspected symptoms to promptly visit health-care facilities for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment options.

Common Mpox symptoms include a rash, fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy and swollen glands.

“The rash looks like blisters or sores and can affect the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet and so on,” the department explained.

Source: SAnews.gov.za

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