Monkeypox: WHO concerned about countries where cases were never detected

South Africa reported its second laboratory-confirmed case of the viral disease this week.

FILE: More than 4500 monkeypox cases have been detected globally. Picture: CDC/Cynthia S. Goldsmith

CAPE TOWN - The World Health Organization (WHO) Africa raised concern over the geographical location of countries and the spread of monkeypox on Tuesday.

This pertains especially to countries where cases were never detected.

It further comes as South Africa reported its second laboratory-confirmed case of the viral disease this week.

Both of South Africa's cases were men who had no travel history.

Ghana and Morocco also confirmed monkeypox cases for the first time.

WHO Africa Regional Director Dr Matshidiso Moeti said that 109 of these cases were confirmed in nine countries.

“According to the latest available information, it appears that the two cases in South Africa, for example, are not linked to any history of travel. This is a concern because South Africa is geographically quite distant from countries with a history of monkeypox transmission,” she said during a WHO Africa briefing.

The cumulative number of suspected monkeypox cases in Africa stands at 1,821.

More than 4,500 monkeypox cases have been detected globally.

MONKEYPOX SYMPTOMS ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASES (NICD)

-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.

A lot of laboratory capacity has been built as the countries went through the COVID-19 pandemic.

They will now be relying on these genomic surveillance equipment to rein in and isolate the monkeypox cases, once again.