Should South Africans be worried about a monkeypox outbreak?

John Perlman spoke to Professor Shabir Madhi about the virus and whether it is something we should be concerned about.

FILE: Monkeypox is a virus from the same family as smallpox and is usually transmitted from animals to humans. Picture: CDC/Cynthia S. Goldsmith

Global health officials and the World Health Organization (WHO) have recently drawn attention to the monkeypox virus as there have been around 90 confirmed cases around the world.

The virus has historically been seen in west and central Africa but recent cases have been picked up in parts of the United States and Europe.

John Perlman spoke to Professor Shabir Madhi about the virus and whether it is something we should be concerned about.

Monkeypox is a virus from the same family as smallpox and is usually transmitted from animals to humans.

However, once the virus is in the human population it can be transmitted from person-to-person through contact with infected bodily fluids or infected materials.

The disease initially presents with flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes before presenting with it’s distinctive rash, and it rarely develops into a serious illness, according to Madhi.

There is a small likelihood of someone having s fatal illness from it, but that is a very low likelihood.

Professor Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand

While it is important to be vigilant around any health outbreak in order to monitor the spread, Madhi said that there is no need to panic, and it is highly unlikely we will see an outbreak like we saw with COVID-19 with monkeypox.

To find out more, listen to the full audio below.

This article first appeared on 702 : Should South Africans be worried about a monkeypox outbreak?