Mpox cases rise to 16, death toll increase to three

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Mpox cases rise to 16, death toll increase to three

Mpox Cases increase

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

The Department of Health has confirmed that the country has recorded three more cases of Mpox and another death, as efforts to curb the spread of this infectious disease are ongoing in the affected communities.

This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases of Mpox in South Africa to 16 since the outbreak in May 2024, while the death toll is now sitting at three.

According to the department, the latest cases involve a 40-year-old man from Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal, who presented with smallpox-like symptoms, including a rash all over his body.

He did not go to the hospital and passed away at home. His results came back positive for Mpox on Sunday, 23 June.

Two additional cases have been confirmed in Gauteng. One case involves a 43-year-old man, who was diagnosed on 22 June at a local private health facility in Johannesburg.

The second case is a 29-year-old male, who was diagnosed at a Mamelodi health facility on 21 June.

“They presented with symptoms indicative of disease and had no international travel history,” the department said.

Of the 16 infections, eight cases are from KwaZulu-Natal, seven cases are from Gauteng, and one case is from the Western Cape.

All individuals involved in the cases are male and aged between 23 and 43 years old.

The department, working with provinces and other stakeholders in the sector, has embarked on health education with funeral parlours on how to handle the human remains of suspected and confirmed cases. 

“The department would like to allay fears of possible travel restrictions or lockdowns due to the Mpox outbreak because the World Health Organisation has not recommended any travel restrictions. However, it is important for travellers from Mpox endemic countries to seek healthcare if they are ill and to alert health officials about their travel for clinical guidance.”

Mpox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It can be transmitted to a person through contact with the virus from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus. It can cause a painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes, and a fever.

Citizens are urged to support all those who are showing symptoms to present at their nearest healthcare facilities immediately for screening and diagnosis, instead of self-diagnosis and using over-the-counter medication.

“Anyone can contract mpox regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation and race. Mpox is preventable and manageable, and treatment for both mild and severe cases is available. People at high risk include those living with chronic conditions such as HIV, TB and diabetes.”

“Monkey pox virus”