The Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla calls for vigilance as the country records another positive case of Monkeypox disease. The second patient is a 32-year old male from Cape Town, in the Western Cape Province, who has no travel history, which suggests that there is a high possibility of local transmission.
Although Monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe illness, the situation is slowly evolving with cases being recorded. Therefore, Minister Phaahla urges the public to observe good hygiene practices and other preventative measures which proved to be effective against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in order to prevent the spread of this virus.
The source and linkage of cases remain under investigation and the Department of Health working together with the NICD is constantly assessing the risk for local transmission in collaboration with the WHO in line with the International Health Regulations.
The health officials will continue with contact tracing while closely monitoring the situation and alert clinicians on symptoms to look for. If the clinical picture fits with Monkeypox, they are urged to complete case investigation forms and send samples for testing.
While the World Health Organization has not recommended any travel restrictions, Minister Phaahla says it is essential for travelers to endemic countries to alert health officials of the situation to enable them to provide guidance for case detection and management.
Members of the public who experience symptoms similar to Monkeypox are urged to report to their nearest healthcare or facility for early detection and successful treatment. Port health officials continue with multi-layered screening measures which include visual observation, temperature screening and completion and analysis of travelers’ health questionnaire when entering the country through ports of entry (airports, border gates and seaports) for early detection and successful treatment.