Thursday, June 30, 2022

Second case of monkeypox confirmed; Western Cape Health says no need to panic

The National Health Department has announced a second confirmed case of monkeypox in South Africa. According to the department, the 32-year-old man from Cape Town has no travel history, which suggests a high possibility of local transmission.

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) said lab tests came positive on the 27th of June 2022.

"Minister Phaahla urges the public to observe good hygiene practices and other preventative measures which proved to be effective against Covid-19 and other infectious diseases in order to prevent the spread of this virus.

"We will continue with contact tracing while closely monitoring the situation and alert clinicians on symptoms to look for, and if the clinical picture fits with monkeypox, they are urged to complete case investigation form and send samples for test."

The source and linkage of cases are still under investigation.

Monkeypox is usually a mild disease manifesting as blisters on the skin, it is usually mild and self-limiting with a fatality rate of 1%.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape’s Health and Wellness Department said that they are prepared and ready to respond to any possible cases.

‘’There is no need for public panic, as Monkeypox is not highly contagious or easily transferable – it needs close contact to be transferred. Standard hygiene practices are effective in preventing infection,’’ it said in a statement.

Furthermore, the City of Cape Town’s Health Department advises the public to be aware and alert to signs and symptoms, and what to do in the event that they suspect infection.

‘’City Health Clinics are prepared to test and provide supportive treatment to those who are symptomatic, as well as, provide guidance and information to them and their loved ones. City Health Outbreak response teams, which include Primary Health Care and Environmental Health Services will assist in case management and contact tracing, similar to what was done during the Covid-19 pandemic, and investigate localised outbreaks in congregate settings,’’ said Mayco Member dfor Communtiy Services & Health, Patricia van Der Ross.

Van Der Ross said that citizens should educate themselves on the signs and symptoms of monkeypox.

‘’City Health will do everything possible to help mitigate the impact of the virus. Our health response was severely tested during the Covid-19 pandemic, and I think the experiences will be extremely valuable in managing any future disease outbreaks.’’

‘’However, we remind the public that health is a shared responsibility. Please do ensure that you are alert to the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, and that you help create awareness within your family and community, without fear-mongering or judgement, and to steer clear of spreading fake news. If you are unsure about what to do, seek advice at your nearest clinic or private health service provider,'’ she added.

 

PICTURE: NICD

Done By: Mitchum George

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