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HEALTH MINISTER ANNOUNCES MPOX OUTBREAK IN SOUTH AFRICA

 

Mpox illness
Mpox illness
Since 2022, there has been a worldwide epidemic of Mpox illness, sometimes referred to as monkey-pox. Mpox is a viral infection that can be transmitted from person to person and sometimes from the environment to humans through contaminated items and surfaces. South Africa is one of the nations that is presently suffering an outbreak of Mpox.

There have been five laboratory-confirmed illnesses and one fatality reported nationwide. Three of these cases were in KwaZulu-Natal, while two were in Gauteng. This fatality is one of the two incidents that have been documented in Gauteng. On Monday, June 10, 2024, the patient departed from Tembisa Hospital. The fact that all of the instances and patients are males between the ages of 30 and 39 and have no history of travel to the nations where the outbreak is occurring shows that the infectious disease is being spread locally in the nation.

According to the WHO's classification of serious cases, all five individuals required hospitalization. Men who sleep with men (MSM), one of the primary demographics identified for the cases, suffer co-morbidities. To undertake targeted communication and raise awareness about the epidemic and local transmission of the illness, the Department is contacting organizations that work on HIV programs, with important populations, and other stakeholders.

One patient has been released, while another has been released to get follow-up care at home. The hospital is still admitting two patients. Three of the patients' sequencing analyses identified mpox clade IIb, consistent with the multi-country mpox epidemic that started in 2022.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is still doing epidemiology and surveillance work to find instances that need to be looked into further in order to systematically gather and analyze data in order to determine the extent of the disease. The epidemic's response teams in KwaZulu-Natal found 38 contacts in all. The connections consist of friends (7), partners/sexual partners (5), hospital contacts (10), and domestic contacts (16). One of the instances appears to have engaged in sexual activity with several partners, both male and female.

Mpox illness report
Mpox illness report

There isn't a recognized Mpox therapy available in South Africa right now. Tecovirimat, sometimes referred to as TPOXX, is advised by the World Health Organization to treat severe instances, such as those involving people whose CD4 count is fewer than 350. For the five identified patients with severe conditions, the Department has, nevertheless, received Section 21 SAPHRA clearance for the compassionate use of Tecovirimat.








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