The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, confirms that a second case of monkeypox has been identified through laboratory testing at the NICD on Tuesday, 28 June 2022. The case involves a 32-year-old male residing in the Western Cape Province. He reports no recent travel history. Contact tracing has commenced in order to identify any other related cases of monkeypox in South Africa. Isolation of confirmed cases allows for the prevention of transmission and interruption of the cycle of transmission. Currently, it is not known if the first and second cases are linked.
Since May 2022, monkeypox has been reported in more than 4,000 individuals from several European countries, the USA, Canada, Australia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. This is the first multi-country outbreak of monkeypox and is already the largest outbreak of monkeypox recorded. Person-to-person transmission involves close contact with an infected person or materials that have been contaminated by an infected person. Although the data indicates that persons with multiple sexual partners present an increased risk of acquiring monkeypox, any persons can acquire the virus if they have had close contact with an infected person. The virus is not highly transmissible and close physical contact is required for transmission.
Monkeypox presents with an acute illness characterised by fever and general flu-like symptoms, followed by the eruption of a blister-like rash on the skin. The disease is rarely fatal and cases typically resolve within two to four weeks. Most cases do not require hospital treatment. 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.
As per WHO recommendations, the NICD will continue increasing vigilance for cases with contact tracing and monitoring of laboratory-confirmed cases. To read more click here.