South Africa Reports First Monkeypox Case of 2024 in Gauteng Province

South Africa reports its first laboratory-confirmed case of monkeypox in 2024, a 35-year-old male in Gauteng province with no recent travel history. This marks the sixth confirmed case in South Africa, with global cases reaching 73,436 in 109 countries.

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Bijay Laxmi
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South Africa Reports First Monkeypox Case of 2024 in Gauteng Province

South Africa Reports First Monkeypox Case of 2024 in Gauteng Province

On May 8, 2024, South Africa reported its first laboratory-confirmed case of monkeypox (mpox) this year in a 35-year-old male residing in Savanna City, Gauteng province. The patient, who has no recent travel history to outbreak countries, tested positive at Ahmed Kathrada Hospital in Lenasia, according to the City of Johannesburg.

Why this matters: The emergence of monkeypox in South Africa highlights the need for continued vigilance and preparedness against infectious diseases, particularly in regions with limited healthcare resources. As the global number of cases continues to rise, it is essential to enhance public awareness and healthcare infrastructure to mitigate the spread of the disease.

This marks the sixth confirmed case of mpox in South Africa, with the previous five cases being part of an outbreak between June and October 2022. Globally, there have been 73,436 confirmed cases reported from 109 countries under World Health Organisation monitoring.

City of Joburg MMC for Health and Social Development Ennie Makhafola explained that "Infection with Mpox virus begins with an incubation period where the person does not have symptoms and may feel fine. The incubation period is roughly 1-2 weeks, and a person is not contagious during this period." Healthcare workers have been advised to remain on high alert and exercise caution when treating any patient presenting with an unexplained acute rash or skin lesions, accompanied by symptoms such as headache, fever over 38.5°C, swollen lymph nodes, and body aches.

The patient is currently being managed with supportive pain control measures, heightened personal hygiene practices, and isolation and monitoring for up to 21 days. To date, no South African has died as a result of contracting mpox, although 29 deaths have been reported worldwide. For more information on mpox preparedness and response activities, the public can visit www.nicd.ac.za/diseases-a-z-index/monkeypox.

Key Takeaways

  • South Africa reports its 1st monkeypox case of 2024 in a 35-year-old male in Gauteng province.
  • This is the 6th confirmed case in South Africa, with 73,436 cases reported globally.
  • Monkeypox has an incubation period of 1-2 weeks, during which the person is not contagious.
  • Healthcare workers advised to be on high alert for patients with unexplained rashes or skin lesions.
  • No deaths reported in South Africa, but 29 deaths globally; patient being managed with supportive care.