South Africa has seven confirmed Mpox cases

South Africa has recorded seven Mpox cases. Image: iStock

Seven Mpox cases confirmed in South Africa

The Department of Health confirmed a new case of Mpox in South Africa, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country to seven.

South Africa has seven confirmed Mpox cases

South Africa has recorded seven Mpox cases. Image: iStock

The Department of Health confirmed a new case of Mpox in South Africa on Friday, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country to seven. The latest patient, a 39-year-old man from Northcliff, Johannesburg, tested positive for Mpox after being admitted to a health facility in Cape Town last month.

Rising cases and Health Department response

The new case has heightened concerns as it follows the deaths of two Mpox patients in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The Department of Health has launched contact tracing efforts to identify and monitor individuals who may have been exposed to the virus. Foster Mohale, spokesperson for the Health Ministry, emphasised the importance of treatment adherence for individuals with chronic illnesses such as HIV.

“The patient presented with extensive lesions and is RVD positive with an unknown CD4 count,” Mohale said.

He stressed that adhering to prescribed treatments can prevent new or worsening health problems.

Public health alert and Mpox precautionary measures

The City of Tshwane Health Department acknowledged the national outbreak, noting that while no cases have been recorded in Tshwane yet, the situation remains fluid.

Mpox is caused by the Mpox virus, a notifiable disease due to its public health impact. Symptoms include skin rashes, fever, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, and swollen glands, resembling flu-like symptoms. The virus is primarily transmitted through close contact with lesions, sexual contact, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as linen and needles.

Laboratory tests confirm infections, and the disease can affect all population groups, with heightened risk for those who are immunocompromised and key populations like men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people, and prisoners. Currently, South Africa does not have the Mpox vaccine.

The Health Ministry is providing antiviral treatment for severe cases. Infected individuals typically experience symptoms for two to four weeks, which usually resolve without intervention, though medication for pain or fever may be necessary.

The City of Tshwane advises anyone suspecting Mpox infection to seek medical attention promptly for early diagnosis and effective treatment. Self-isolation and avoiding contact with others are crucial to prevent spreading the virus. Health care workers in Tshwane remain vigilant in monitoring for Mpox-related symptoms among the community.

The public is urged to stay informed and practice preventive measures to curb the spread of Mpox, especially among high-risk groups.