NICD says current monkeypox outbreak is largest outside of endemic locations

The institute has given an update on the global trajectory of the viral zoonotic disease, saying no cases have been diagnosed in South Africa.

Monkeypox belongs to the Poxviridae family of viruses, which includes smallpox. Picture: CDC/Cynthia S. Goldsmith

CAPE TOWN - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases said the current multinational monkeypox outbreak is the largest ever outside of endemic locations.

The institute has given an update on the global trajectory of the viral zoonotic disease, saying no cases have been diagnosed in South Africa.

Experts have however warned there's a risk the monkeypox virus can be imported.

The NICD said the monkeypox virus occurs primarily in the tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.

Doctor Jacqueline Weyer from the Centre for Emerging, Zoonotic and Parasitic Diseases says cases have been confirmed in several countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States of America.

"Also if we would have cases in South Africa, we can manage that by just doing the classical containment approach for an outbreak, identifying all of your cases or contact monitoring them and then isolating any confirmed cases."

The monkeypox virus is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.