Latest Update on Mpox Outbreak and Response Efforts

The Department of Health would like to confirm that the country has recorded three more positive cases of Mpox (formerly known as monkey pox) and one death as the efforts to curb the spread of this infectious are ongoing in the affected communities around the country.

The latest cases/patients include a 40-year-old male from Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal who presented with Mpox-like symptoms including rash all over his body and never presented in hospital. He passed on at home and the results came back positive for Mpox on the 23rd June 2024.

The other two cases were confirmed in Gauteng including a 43-year-old man who was diagnosed on 22 June 2024 at a local private health facility in Johannesburg, and a 29-year-old male diagnosed in Mamelodi health facility on 21 June 2024. They presented with symptoms indicative of the disease and had no international travel history.

This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases of Mpox in South Africa to 16 since the outbreak of the disease in May 2024. Eight cases from KwaZulu-Natal, seven cases from Gauteng, and one from Western Cape. All cases are males, aged between 23-43 years old. The number of Mpox-related deaths has also increased to three.

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

Individuals, families and communities are urged to support all those who experience Mpox-like symptoms to present at the nearest healthcare facilities without delay for screening and diagnosis, instead of self-diagnosis and using over-the-counter medication.

For more information about Mpox, click here.


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