South Africa reports first case of monkeypox

South African health authorities confirmed on Tuesday the detection of a first case of monkeypox in the province of Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria.

A 35-year-old man tested positive on May 9 by a private laboratory, the result having subsequently been confirmed by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), the Ministry of Health said in a statement, calling on citizens to increase their vigilance to avoid the spread of the disease.

Monkey, or simian, smallpox is a rare viral infectious disease in humans caused by the MPXV virus. Although the disease is not highly communicable, it can cause a painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes, and fever.

“According to the preliminary investigation and case outcome reports, the patient has not recently traveled to countries experiencing an outbreak of the disease,” the ministry stressed.

He added that contact tracing is continuing to identify any other potential cases of monkeypox in different parts of the country.

Separately, the department warned that a new variant of MPXV, called “clade 1b”, has emerged recently with increased transmissibility, raising concerns about its potential to cause a pandemic in the country.

With MAP

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