SA confirms second case of monkeypox in WC

The NICD said monkeypox is "rarely fatal" and illness can dissipate within two to four weeks adding that most cases don't require hospital treatment.

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

South Africa has a second case of monkeypox.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed this on Tuesday.

This comes after the institute confirmed the first case in Gauteng last Thursday.

It was detected in a 30-year-old male from Gauteng who had no recent travel history.

The latest case is also a male from the Western Cape.

"The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, confirms that a second case of monkeypox has been identified through laboratory testing at the NICD on Tuesday, 28 June 2022. The case involves a 32-year-old male residing in the Western Cape Province.

"He reports no recent travel history. Contact tracing has commenced in order to identify any other related cases of monkeypox in South Africa. Isolation of confirmed cases allows for the prevention of transmission and interruption of the cycle of transmission. Currently, it is not known if the first and second cases are linked," said the NICD.

Monkeypox has since May been reported in more than 4,000 people from several European countries including the USA, Canada, Australia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

"This is the first multi-country outbreak of monkeypox and is already the largest outbreak of monkeypox recorded," added the institute.

According to the NICD, "person-to-person transmission involves close contact with an infected person or materials that have been contaminated by an infected person".

It further added: "Although the data indicates that persons with multiple sexual partners present an increased risk of acquiring monkeypox, any persons can acquire the virus if they have had close contact with an infected person. The virus is not highly transmissible and close physical contact is required for transmission."

MONKEYPOX SYMPTOMS

-Acute illness characterised by fever and general flu-like symptoms
An eruption of a blister-like rash on the skin

-The NICD said monkeypox is "rarely fatal" and illness can dissipate within two to four weeks adding that most cases don't require hospital treatment.

"Prevention of infection hinges on the isolation of cases until fully recovered. The risk to the general population is considered low, given the low transmissibility of the virus," it explained.