monkeypox

Here is what you need to know about monkeypox after the first case was identified in South Africa on 23 June. Image via Pixabay

Monkeypox FAQ: Transmission, symptoms and effectiveness of vaccine

The first case of monkeypox has been recorded in South Africa this morning. Here’s everything you need to know about the viral disease.

monkeypox

Here is what you need to know about monkeypox after the first case was identified in South Africa on 23 June. Image via Pixabay

Health Minister Joe Phaahla’s announcement on Thursday 23 June that the government is scrapping mask-wearing regulations, was followed by the news that the first case of monkeypox has been recorded in South Africa. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the transmission of monkeypox, its symptoms and the effectiveness of the smallpox vaccine in fighting the spread of the infectious viral disease. 

ALSO READ: ‘I don’t want to get sick’: Some South Africans choose to KEEP masks on

1. FIRST CASE OF MONKEYPOX IDENTIFIED IN SOUTH AFRICA 

In a briefing on Thursday 23 June, Joe Phaahla said he received a report from the National Health laboratory confirming the first case of monkeypox in South Africa. 

“The patient is a 30-year-old male from Johannesburg who has no travel history, meaning that this cannot be attributed to having been acquired outside South Africa,” said Phaahla. 

2. HOW IS MONKEYPOX TRANSMITTED? 

Monkeypox transmission occurs through close contact with animals and humans, through their body fluids, contaminated droplet particles or infected skin lesion. It can also be transmitted through intimate physical contact like kissing, sex and cuddling. 

Phaahla added in his briefing that monkeypox was more dominant in men who have sex with other men. 

3. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? 

According to The Conversation, it begins as fever, chills, fatigue and enlarged and tender lymph nodes in the neck and groin. If exposed to monkeypox, you may develop a sore throat, cough and possibly a rash on the mucous membranes of the mouth. 

The next stage is a rash which is prominent on your face, palms and soles of the feet. The incubation period ranges from four to 21 days.

The World Health Organisation highlights that bedding, clothing, glasses or dishes that have been contaminated can also spread the disease.

ALSO READ: ‘We don’t need another pandemic’: SA reacts to first monkeypox case

4. IS THE SMALLPOX VACCINE EFFICIENT? 

The smallpox vaccine is usually administered before or after being exposed to the disease and could potentially prevent or reduce the effects of monkeypox. 

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the smallpox vaccine is only available to those who are most vulnerable to monkeypox.

Danish biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic says it is ready to meet the demand for vaccines across the globe. 

“With the current demand, we can easily supply the global market. We have a couple of million doses in bulk that we can put into vials and make sure that the current outbreak is handled,” Bavarian Nordic boss Rolf Sass Sorensen told AFP via eNCA

5. MONKEYPOX VS CHICKENPOX 

BusinessInsider reports that there is often some confusion between monkeypox, smallpox and chickenpox. One of the main differences between them is the symptoms. 

Chickenpox is often itchy rashes while monkeypox and chickenpox usually form scabs that eventually fall off. 

Monkeypox is also the only one of the three where one will experience swollen lymph nodes.